Local fibre line failure caused F1 data outage at Imola

The Formula 1 organisation says that the failure of a local fibre optic line caused the outage that impacted TV coverage and team radio transmissions during first practice for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Local fibre line failure caused F1 data outage at Imola

The F1 data system went down at the start of track action and a quick switch was made to a "recovery mode" that allowed basic operations to continue via a satellite link.

However, many features such as data transmission, onboard cameras and team radios were out of commission for at least part of the session.

The fibre failure was addressed during the lunch break and FP2 took place without any further problems after the normal system was reset.

As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, F1 has switched more of its technical operations from the track back to its UK base in Biggin Hill in order to reduce the need for personnel to travel to races, but the organisation has stressed that today's failure was local.

Read Also:

The outage created major issues for teams, as radio communications to drivers were disrupted, making it impossible to give the usual guidance about traffic issues when faster cars were approaching from behind.

The lack of contact with the pit wall contributed to a clash between a slow-moving Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez, which brought out a red flag. After a hearing the stewards took no action on the matter.

"Certainly, it was a big problem," said Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto. "I don't know if in all the teams we had exactly the same problems. But for us, it was very difficult, especially on Charles [Leclerc], no way of communicating to him.

"It's difficult because you cannot give him advice on the cars following, so then there can be impeding situations which are not voluntary at all, but very difficult for the drivers as well to know who is coming behind.

"On top of that we are running our race power unit, because those power units are the ones we fitted in Bahrain and are used for the entire weekend. So obviously, if you've got any problems, you don't know how to react and to communicate. So these type of problems are serious."

"The experience was a bit strange because we had no lap times," said Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur. "We had the data for safety at least. It was just for the first stint until the mid-session, so it's OK for me, it's not a drama.

"We discussed it after the session, because the drivers were complaining about the radio, but 20 years ago the guys were able to drive without the radio!"

"Until you lose that kind of data I don't think you realise how much you rely on it," said Aston Martin's Otmar Szafnauer. "It was like we were blind on the pit wall. Even driver communication wasn't working. It made things much more difficult."

shares
comments

Related video

Steiner: Spinning Mazepin "trying too hard"
Previous article

Steiner: Spinning Mazepin "trying too hard"

Next article

Verstappen: Red Bull "a little bit" on back foot after FP2 issue

Verstappen: Red Bull "a little bit" on back foot after FP2 issue
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021