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Car to pits radio

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#1 Cozzie

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:08

Does anyone know when this became commonplace in F1. I don't mean engineers just plugging into drivers helmets in the pitlane which they started doing in the late 70's, but actual wireless comms when the cars are on track.


#2 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 13:19

For what its worth, Tyrrell's first use of radios, as opposed to intercoms, was in 1989. This was obviously not (by far) the first use of radios in F1, but it's a data point.

Their use in Indycar racing dates from at least the early 1970s, if not earlier.

May I suggest you post your query in the Nostalgia Forum - I expect someone will know the answer.




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Posted 16 June 2013 - 16:10

Back in Indianapolis in 1955, Jim Rathmann drove a beautiful fully enclosed streamliner, the Belond Special.
Along with the fully enclosed cockpit, the car was the first to use a two way radio from the pits to the driver.
The frequency was that of the common two way radios in use at the time.
Jim said it worked pretty well during practise until when flying down the back straight in practise, he was dispatched to fix a toilet by the local plumbing shop....
It wasn't used during the race....


#4 E.B.

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 16:22

Do you mean the Sumar Special? Stunning looking car, both its shape and colour.

I'm sure I read somewhere about Leon Duray having a radio way back in 1932, but I don't know if it was two way.

#5 Magoo

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 23:19

This is a very interesting question in that it was tried so many times over the years but never caught on because it didn't work worth a damn. And then at some point it finally became successful and then suddenly, everyone was using it. At least that's how I seem to remember it.


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Posted 17 June 2013 - 19:47

Well, '55 was an interesting year at Indy for streamliners.Mercedes had run the w154 streamliners in '54 and for Indy everyone got in line.
The Sumar was the first to show up. The first full envelope body for Indy cars.
They didn't know anything about aerodynamics at the time, and it was surmised that the packing of air under the front end made the car light and it wouldn't steer well.
It was so bad the car actually qualified without the additional bodywork and looked just awfull without it.
Another streamliner was built by Howard Keck for Bil Vukovich. It was to have a Chrysler V-8 in it but it wasn't finished in time.
The third streamliner was the Belond "Miracle Power Special" driven by Jim Rathmann. It too had an almost full envelope body, but the tops of the wheel arches were open. The car ran with the full aero kit except for the enclosed canopy. It proved to be so hot Rathmann couldn't stand it.
That's the one I was referring to....


#7 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 23:54

I have no idea on F1 but Aussie Tourers were using 2 way communication by the mid 70s. Though often it left a lot to be desired so I am told. And interruption by uneeded messages like Rathmann plumbing call also happened.

In the 90s John Trimbole who had varied businesses was reputedly dictating letters to his secretary while racing at Bathurst in a production car enduro via [I hope] handsfree phone plus had the two way to contend with too.

These days though the radio is really abused. With all the 'strategy' , team orders, plus the crew chief just about telling the driver how to drive the car. And when and if the car breaks down or crashed what to do,, eg turn off the battery isolator! Especially if crashed.