Drivers to race without cockpit warning lights
16 March 2013 – The Formula 1 grid will be forced to race without in-cockpit lights during Sunday's Australian Grand Prix, with the FIA revealing that a telemetry issue has forced it to cut the link between race control and the cars. This means drivers will only be informed of the on-track state by marshals' flags, as opposed to steering wheel displays.
In addition to the flag situation, which will affect standard red, yellow and blue scenarios, drivers will also have to adhere to DRS regulations in a different manner. Once the overtaking aid is enabled after the first two laps of the race, the FIA will not be able to turn it off in the event of a yellow flag zone or if rain arrives, leaving the teams to inform their drivers over the radio if they are allowed to use the system.
Amid the ongoing technical drama, governing body the FIA has explained that "we will do our best to give as much information from race control as we can."
The full FIA statement reads:
'The consequences for the race will be as follows;
1: None of the red, yellow or blue cockpit lights will work.
2: At the start of the race DRS will be automatically enabled once each car as crossed the Line to complete two laps.
3: There will be no automatic blue flag messages on the Official Messaging System. We will do our best to give as much information from race control as we can, however, it will be even more important that teams do what they can to ensure their drivers respect blue flags.
4: If the safety car is deployed Safety Car Model will have to be selected manually by the driver immediately after he sees either the SC light panels or SC boards being held out by marshals.
5: If the safety car is deployed a message saying "DRS DISABLED" will be displayed, we will however be unable to actually disable it. Therefore, from this point, drivers must not use DRS until the message "DRS ENABLED" is shown two laps after the safety car returns to the pits (due to the layout of the track the "DRS ENABLED" message will be sent when every car has reached the end of the second activation zone before turn 3).
6: If yellow flags or lights are displayed in a DRS activation zone "DRS DISABLED" will be displayed, from this point drivers must not use DRS in the yellow zone until the message "DRS ENABLED" appears.
7: In conditions of poor visibility a message saying "DRS DISABLED" may be displayed, we will however be unable to actually disable it. Therefore, from this point, drivers must not use DRS until the message "DRS ENABLED" is shown.'