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The burden of proof - Live data from Renault can help with steward's investigations

Published by Mr. C

Following up on yesterday's debate about the Hamilton / Vettel / Webber incident. The one thing that strikes me, is that while quite a lot can be determined from viewing incidents from an alternate angle, there can still be an element of doubt surrounding what exactly a driver was up to at a specific time.

When they make their mid-race and post-race decisions, Race Stewards have access to a whole raft of onboard electronic data, provided by the teams, relating to a cars behaviour. We rarely, if ever, get to see this. But imagine what could be discerned if only we had this information at our fingertips (both during the race and for review later)?

Well we do... sort of.

All the way back on Show 15 we discussed My Club Renault, an online service provided by Renault F1, that amongst other things provides fans with exactly this kind of information. As a member you get live updates from both Renault drivers, including inputs such as steering angle and throttle attenuation, coupled with outside influences such as the g-force the car is currently being subjected too.

Here's a screenshot:

Renault F1 Race Control screenshot

We haven't really mentioned this much since Show 15, mostly because Renault haven't been doing spectacularly well, or getting into controversial situations. But they do provide this information live and for post-race playback.

Imagine how much information could be gleaned if we'd had access to the same data from the cars of Hamilton, Webber and Vettel? You would immediately have evidence to show 'who braked when' and instantly compare that to what they'd done on previous laps.

It'll probably be many years before this data is available from all teams, it may never happen at all. But in an ever more connected world, insight into a driver's each and every move could be a massive help.