Motor racing-Wolff's message to race control signals new move for F1

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Portuguese Grand Prix - Algarve International Circuit - Portimao, Portugal - April 30, 2021 Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff talks in the Team Principals Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Formula One broke new ground on Sunday when a radio message from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff to race control during the Spanish Grand Prix was broadcast to television audiences.

Wolff addressed race director Michael Masi directly when Haas's Russian rookie Nikita Mazepin delayed Mercedes' seven times world champion and eventual winner Lewis Hamilton on lap 26.

"Blue flags, Michael," viewers heard the Austrian say. "This guy makes us lose the position."

Masi said the broadcasting of messages involving race control was an innovation agreed between Formula One and the governing FIA.

Viewers have previously heard only communications between teams and drivers over team radio.

"It actually came about through a discussion at an F1 Commission meeting last year so they (the fans) could hear, as part of the broadcast, the communications between the pit wall and the teams," he said.

"The F1 Group, through their broadcast, has been doing some trials in the background... and all the teams were advised and this weekend’s the first time it’s gone live to air."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ken Ferris)

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