F1 abandons the rain wheel cover idea

After its most recent test, the FIA decided against installing wheel covers on F1 cars in extremely wet conditions, as Motorsport.com can disclose.

(Motorsports news) Recently in F1, Ferrari assisted the body that oversees motor racing in assessing a more comprehensive wheel guard concept during Fiorano runs to see whether it could help lessen spray.

Compared to the initial concept that was tested at Silverstone last year, the design was far more striking, and Ferrari tested two cars side by side to see whether it improved things.

The FIA purposefully went overboard with the most recent coverings in order to gauge just how much improved visibility would be in the absence of mist raised by the wheels.

Based on video analysis, the test’s results showed that the diffuser’s residual ability to throw up a significant amount of water made the gain seem insignificant.

The wheel cover idea was immediately deemed unfeasible by the FIA, and efforts are currently underway to explore alternative ways for providing assistance in hazardous conditions.

In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com, Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA’s head of single-seater affairs, announced that the wheel cover project has been shelved because it would not yield the anticipated radical improvement.

He declared, “We always knew that the cloud of spray was caused by two main contributing factors.” “One was the amount of water that the diffuser collects from the ground, and the other was the amount that the wheels collected.

We intended to attempt a complete wheel cover—going above and above what would be feasible—to determine the absolute maximum we could accomplish and, ultimately, whether or not that would be the best course of action.

“The wheel cover test that was conducted at Silverstone last year was far, far too small and flimsy. I don’t think it was ever going to work because of this.

In order to determine what was possible to get the best results from the wheel covers, we went to the limit. Furthermore, even though they do have some effect, it isn’t strong enough to suggest that this is the best course of action. As a result, we are starting over.

I believe we have addressed a few of the questions. We are aware of our current position, but I don’t believe that will continue as a project in and of itself right now. We now understand that additional measures are required to prevent races from being postponed.

There have been suggestions in the past to add anything to the diffuser to help keep the water level in this section down because of the venturi floor’s tendency to release a large volume of water.

Tombazis, however, is skeptical of this notion since he believes that any action taken in this field will significantly worsen downforce creation.

In theory, you could take action there, but doing so would be equivalent to taking away all of the downforce and other factors. Therefore, that would be a big problem. To be honest, it’s not an easy next step. We need to talk about it.

Fundamentally, though, the Ferrari design succeeded as a test because it provided the information we needed. Exam results might vary greatly; sometimes they go the other way and indicate that the path you are taking is not the best one and you should take a different one. That something else must be determined right away.

Tombazis claimed he had some suggestions for possible solutions but was not ready to share them with the public just yet.

However, he stated that the goal was that, in the rare cases when situations were particularly dire, it could be helpful, regardless of the outcome.

He said, “We need to come up with different solutions.” In the end, we want to prevent a situation similar to Spa 2021, where a race is postponed, canceled, or drastically curtailed.

There will undoubtedly always be a compromise. Even though the wheel covers themselves weren’t very attractive, we would have been more than willing to install them once a year if it meant whether or not a race had to be canceled.

“Every time it gets wet, we put them on,” was never the plan. But regrettably, we do need to make an effort to come up with alternate ideas.

Also read: Norris can defeat Verstapen, but “many races ending in tears” – Brown


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