Formula E driver calls for ‘radio silence’ between drivers, pit road

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Radio communication between race car drivers and pit road has been a staple in motorsports for several decades.

But now there’s a call by one driver to have “radio silence” during races.

According to e-racing365.com, 2016-17 Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi wants a ban on race communications between drivers and teams, except when there is a safety issue at hand.

Formula E and FIA are in the process of discussing the use of so-called “mission control” radio conversations that include racetrack and manufacturer input on teams’ radio channels.

Di Grassi says the less chatter the better, plus it would help enhance the challenge for drivers if they’re more on their own, rather than having to deal with radio talk that can at times break a driver’s concentration.

“Why not just cut the radio communication to the driver and then it doesn’t matter how many strategists you have or how big a mission control you have, as you cannot tell the driver what to do then,” Di Grassi told e-racing365.

“I think that’s the way forward, its more driver dependent, you have to decide your own strategy you need to know what is going on and you need to figure it out for yourself.

“There would also be no team orders, no (b.s.) like this, you will go racing and that’s it, it is your problem to solve and I am totally in favor of this.”

Di Grassi isn’t just sharing his thoughts with the media. He recently spoke with Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag about the subject, as well, according to e-racing365.

As far as Di Grassi is concerned, there is really only one reason to still maintain radio communications in a race car.

“We need to have a radio because it is important for safety reasons, of course,” he told e-racing365. “We need to know about full course yellows, accidents, etc. But I’d like to have only comms from the race director to us and us to the radio director so I can tell them if I had a crash or something has gone wrong on track.

“I am against team radio, I am against any type of driver aid. I see the continual dialogue in a race as a driver aid and Formula E should look at eradicating it.”

Click here for the full e-racing365.com story.

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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.