Telemetry ban in F1 would be “a step backwards”

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Lotus technical director Nick Chester believes that a ban on telemetry being used in Formula 1 would be a big step backwards for the sport.

Ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, the FIA confirmed that a ban on radio communications relating to the car’s setup would come into force with immediate effect, only to backtrack and limit this to messages regarding driver performance. The full ban is set to be introduced at the start of the 2015 F1 season.

The idea for the radio ban came from F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, and he has also said that there may be a ban on telemetry – the live data transmitted from the cars to the pit wall – in order to make the drivers less dependent on their teams.

However, Chester believes that this would be a step too far, and may even impact safety standards within the sport.

“I think telemetry won’t be banned,” Chester said. “It would be tricky to know if for example the car has a puncture or something is about to fail.

“You would have no way of telling if the car is safe or not. To make that move would be a step backwards.”

Chester has accepted the changes made to the radio regulations for 2015, and says that Lotus will be fitting a larger LED display on its steering wheels to try to make up for the change.

“In terms of the radio communications changes we will have to adapt to the FIA guidelines,” he said. “Next year we will likely go for a larger display steering wheel. You would be at a disadvantage if you stayed with the smaller display with the radio communications changes planned for 2015.”

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.