Very interesting idea, I had not thought of this.Phil wrote:Regarding the possibility that the team do hold the power to control engine mappings from the pit (which would be illegal) - I must say, that I find it still very strange that in Canada, both cars seemed to exhibit the exact same problems at the same time. If anything, logic would dictate that Hamilton, who was closely following Nico for the entirety of his race, would run into mechanical problems first - yet for some reason, Nico's car suddenly started to exhibit the same symptoms at give or take the same moment. In hindsight, it makes me wonder if the pitwall panicked and decided to turn down engine modes for both cars at the same time. If it was relayed to the drivers, wouldn't there need to be some radio calls around that confirm this?
On the other hand; why would the team do this if it is explicitly banned? Also, controlling such crucial settings from the pitwall seems like a dangerous thing to me; imagine if they have some problem and suddenly both their cars go into wrong engine modes on the track? Would be an easy way to find yourself with your pants down at doing something illegal and easily avoidable....
I noticed both cars came into issues around the same lap so I had thought it was some lap or distance-travelled threshold that had passed which had caused a configuration change in the engine. But couple it with the Hamilton's comment in Abu Dhabi it does make me wonder.
It's worth noting, that F1 teams are experts at getting round regulations in particular by taking advantage of the primary-use/secondary-use idea.
One way they could implement PitWall-to-Car engine-switching could be via having a 'heartbeat' packet which is sent every so often to the car to let the car know that the pit wall has received the telemetry data. Then, on the grounds of safety, you could argue that if the car stops receiving heartbeats then it should alter the engine mode, perhaps under the assumption that the new mode is a safer "failback" mode that makes sense if the powerunit engineers are unable to monitor the engine. Primary purpose is safety, secondary purpose obviously gives the pit wall an ability to alter engine mode.