Ecclestone: Drivers wanted radio ban

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F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has claimed that drivers were in favor of the planned restrictions on radio communications, which are set to come into force for this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.

Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, confirmed after the Italian Grand Prix that it would no longer allow radio calls designed to enhance a driver’s performance behind the wheel, stressing the importance of article 20.1 of the regulations which states that drivers must race “alone and unaided”.

Although some have praised the move for putting more onus on the drivers and making them less reliant on their pit wall, many have questioned whether the timing is right following the biggest change in the technical regulations in decades for 2014.

Speaking in Singapore ahead of this weekend’s race, Williams’ Felipe Massa was quick to criticize the decision.

“It’s something they could have done more professionally,” the Brazilian said. “They always believe that now it’s too complicated and too easy for us, but they’ve never driven the car.

“I’m against it, completely against it.”

At an event on Thursday in Singapore though, Ecclestone claimed that, contrary to Massa’s comments, the drivers were in fact supportive of the move.

“I think none of the drivers want it,” he said. “They are all happy that it has gone.

“They drive the cars, they should know what is wrong or right, they don’t need someone on the pit wall telling them what to do.”

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton said that the move is “almost like putting more balls in the air for us to catch, and we’re already catching quite a lot.” However, he went on to say that he liked the individual focus the ruling encourages.

However, according to a report by German journalist Michael Schmidt, the FIA may relax the clampdown for this weekend’s race following pressure from the teams. The sport’s governing body will inform the teams of its decision tomorrow morning.