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Calls to lift radio ban as drivers unite against 'joke' ruling.

FOrMuLA One is facing calls to lift the team radio ban which world champion Lewis Hamilton claimed has made the sport more dangerous.

Hamilton spent a large portion of Sunday's inaugural european Grand Prix on the streets of Azerbaijan's capital city Baku staring at his steering wheel as he attempted to resolve a lack of power which stemmed from being in wrong engine mode.

under new regulations introduced by the FIA, the sport's governing body, at the start of the season, Mercedes were outlawed from telling Hamilton how to fix the issue.

As such, Hamilton, who finished fifth, spent 12 laps exceeding speeds of more than 220mph while fiddling with potentially hundreds of different settings on his complex steering wheel.

"I think we need to look at the rules," said Hamilton's Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. "It is not like I am complaining as it is the same for everybody.

"I still think we want to see drivers racing each other and today's cars are very complicated because they are so sophisticated technology-wise.

"So, you can do one of two things; make the technology much less complicated, which I don't think is the right direction, or maybe adjust the regulations so you can communicate more with the drivers in case there is a problem."

The blanket radio ban was introduced in order to place more control back in the hands of the drivers. But speaking on Sunday night, Hamilton, now 24 points behind Nico rosberg who strolled to his fifth victory of the season, said: "The rule needs to be looked at again because it is a technical issue."

And the British driver found support from two others.

"If you want my honest opinion the ban is a joke, because it doesn't really change much," four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel said.

"I don't think you go any quicker when the team tells you what's going on. In the end it doesn't change anything except the fact you have less radio communication to broadcast and less to give to the people."

double world champion Fernando Alonso added: "From the beginning this rule did not make much sense. They give us a spaceship to drive, with the technology we have, and now we have no information available."

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jun 21, 2016
Words:374
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