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Proposed Data Transfer Ban to Crack Down on Remote Support

Data transfer ban set to prevent Formula E teams from using remote support for races…

Photo: Formula E

The FIA has issued manufacturers and teams with a strict instruction to not utilize so-called mission control centers in an effort to crack down on growing resources and to control costs in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

An updated draft of the sporting regulations was sent to teams last week and detailed an additional article which lays out the FIA’s banning of any data transfers between circuit and “remote support hub”.

E-racing365, which addressed the issue last month, has seen a copy of the new document which is not currently publicly available.

Article 27.10 of the draft regulations details plans to forbid teams from transmitting data to external sources such as mission control centers at manufacturer headquarters.

It states that “the transfer of data from cars, or any other sort of car data-related communication from the team garage to any external [outside the circuit] remote support hub, including a team’s factory, is strictly forbidden.”

Should the move be mandated, it will be seen as a measure to follow Formula E’s cost management ethos and limit the influence of extra staff and manufacturers’ facilities being employed to bolster the carefully regulated race teams.

Formula E works to strict personnel capping and a limit of 20 on-site operational staff, in keeping with its quest to cap teams from growing to excessive sizes for budgetary reasons.

Exactly how the new restrictions for manufacturers and teams will be policed is not known as technology such as bluetooth and WiFi transferring is difficult to accurately manage and monitor.

One senior member of a manufacturer team told e-racing365 this week that “it will not be policed” but if the FIA finds any evidence that teams have been flouting the rule then “you are dead.”

A secret teleconference call between technical working group members and the FIA is scheduled for the coming days when an ‘e-vote’ to see if the article will remain in the final sporting regulations will be concluded.

It is expected that a decision, should it be agreed, will be formalized next week.

An ultimate sanction of immediate removal from the championship is believed to be one of the penalties for teams found guilty of data transfer offenses.

The FIA did not comment on the subject of data transferring when contacted by e-racing365 this week.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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