F1 teams issued technical directive to restrict in-car instructions

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The FIA has issued a technical directive to clamp down on in-car instructions in Formula 1, intending to make the drivers less dependent on information from the pit wall.

2014 has seen a sharp increase in the amount of pit-to-driver information about what modes and settings to use on the car, as well as advice on where to find more time when out on track.

However, in order to make the racing more about driver skill and management, FIA race director Charlie Whiting has issued a technical directive telling teams that such information will put them in breach of the regulations – particularly Article 20.1 of the sporting regulations which states: “The driver must drive the car alone and unaided.”

Whiting’s directive reads as follows:

“In order to ensure that the requirements of Article 20.1 of the F1 sporting regulations are respected at all times, the FIA intends to rigorously enforce this regulation with immediate effect.

“Therefore, no radio conversation from pit to driver may include any information that is related to the performance of the car or driver. The FIA should also remind you that data transmission from pit to car is specifically prohibited by Article 8.5.2 of the F1 technical regulations.”

As of the Singapore Grand Prix next weekend, drivers will be left largely alone in their cars. Instead of the constant radio chatter that we have become accustom to in recent years, they will now be largely reliant on the data on their steering wheels and on the pit boards.

The team will still be able to issue driver orders and tell them when to pit, but we will no longer hear drivers asking for where improvements on track can be made. This has been particularly rife at Mercedes in 2014, with championship rivals Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton asking where they can find more time compared to their teammate.

The FIA has also said that coded messages will not be allowed, and it will be policing the radio transmissions at the teams to make sure that this is the case.

This move should have the desired effect, as drivers will now have to depend on their own natural pace and skill more than before. With this directive coming into place for the next race, it could quickly become clear which drivers have been more dependent on the pit wall for much of the season.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.