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Sports Equipment Technology

Despite Glitches, FIA Still Has Faith in Riedel Communications for Auto-Race Technology

April 29, 2013


The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) – which is a global governing body for auto racing (including Formula One) – will stay with Riedel Communications for an electronic marshaling system despite recent technical problems.

In a recent event, Formula One drivers took part in the Bahrain Grand Prix – even though they had no warning lights available in their cockpits, news reports said.

This was the fourth successive race where there were problems with the system, Reuters reported, with no cockpit warning lights in use. The lights are either red, yellow or blue and indicate potential problems with various systems in the car.

The problems led to officials disabling the “telemetry link between race control and cars, which acts as an electronic marshaling system,” Reuters (News - Alert) said.

Autosport reported that there was “serious thought” to going back an earlier supplier, EM from the Spanish Grand Prix. But the racing body concluded the telemetry system, which controls the cockpit warning lights, was in “better” shape for the fourth race than it was during the prior three Grands Prix. Another consideration was that cars would have had to been rewired if FIA went back to EM for the system.

MotorSportsTalk predicts the technical system should be working in time for the May 12 race at the Circuit de Catalunya.

"As before, 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," the FIA said in a recent statement quoted by Reuters.

Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile  represents some 60 million road and track users from more than 230 member clubs. Riedel Communications makes and distributes technology in the sports, broadcast, pro-audio, event, and theater sectors.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson