Current Alpine and former Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio has said the use of team radio is the biggest difference between racing on two and four wheels.
Brivio engineered the Suzuki double championship in 2020 – Joan Mir took the rider’s title as the team took out the team’s title, narrowly missing the manufacturer’s title to Ducati.
Brivio then made the hop from two wheels to four over the off-season, taking up post as team manager and racing director for Alpine after a shake-up over the winter. Formula 1 cars have high-tech team radio and a bunch of other technology to communicate between driver and team. MotoGP, however, doesn’t, using mostly pit boards and occasionally pit-to-dashboard messaging.
Brivio says this discrepancy in team communication is the biggest thing he’s had to wrap his head around, saying in an interview:
“It’s maybe a funny thing, but the biggest difference is the radio. You are in contact with the driver constantly, the race engineer telling them to do this, to do that, wait a little bit, whatever.”
“In MotoGP, once the race starts, the rider is by himself. You just sit down and you watch television, that’s all you can do. Here, you’re constantly in contact. You’re almost in the car. You are much more a part of what is going on in the track, I think. You’re not just enjoying it. You enjoy it, but not as a spectator. So the radio was the biggest difference, but interesting and very exciting.”
Alpine scored three points at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, a score they’re hoping to improve on come the Portuguese Grand Prix, where practice gets underway in a mere five days’ time.