breaking news


today is Dec 02, 2021

In the round-up: Formula 1’s decision to introduce wider tyres four years ago has made its wet weather visibility problem worse, according to Pirelli.

In brief

Wider tyres worse for visibility

F1 raced at wet Interlagos on narrower tyres in 2016

F1 introduced a wider specification of front and rear tyres in 2017. Front wheels grew from 245mm wide to 305mm, while rears went from 325mm to 405mm.

Pirelli’s head of motorsport Mario Isola says this has increased the volume of water the tyres can lift by over 40%. This has made visibility during wet races worse. Earlier this year the Belgian Grand Prix was abandoned and the result declared based on a single lap of running behind the Safety Car due to poor visibility in persistent rain.

Isola said Pirelli is in discussions over what it might do to improve the situation, but admitted the wider tyres have added to the problem. “Nobody wants to see another Spa,” Isola acknolwedged. “[But] on the tyre side, there is very little we can do because tyres are designed to guarantee the crossover between the wet and intermediate. Moving this design target is is not ideal because then you can create a gap and, in any case, also making a tyre that is more able to disperse water.

“But if you disperse all that, the water is flying and the visibility become worse and worse. So we are not fixing the issue, we are probably making the issue worse.

“I don’t know what we can do in terms of tyres. The fact that in 2017 we’ve introduced a wider tires are also increasing this water that is flying. The old tyre, the old wet was able to disperse 60 litres per second at 300kph, now we are going up to 85 and obviously it’s more water that is flying. Unless we don’t find a way to block the water and avoid this spray and limiting visibility, I really don’t know what we can do, I don’t have a solution for that.”

Szafnauer’s Aston Martin role “won’t change” when Whitmarsh joins

Aston Martin CEO Otmar Szafnauer says his role in charge of the Formula 1 team will be unaffected by the arrival of Martin Whitmarsh this month. However he admitted some details are yet to be worked out around the arrival of the former McLaren team principal.

“My role won’t change,” Szafnauer explained. “Martin will be Group CEO, ‘group’ means that we’re going to start some applied technologies-type businesses called Aston Martin Performance Technologies, utilising the [intellectual property] and the developments of Formula 1 and applying them to other industries.

“He was there at McLaren when they started doing that. So he’s got that experience and he can lead us to shortcuts in doing that. He’s also had seven years now of boat racing experience, including starting a new company that is taking technologies from boat racing and moving that technology into cargo ships.”

Whitmarsh’s role “will also include the F1 team”, said Szafnauer, “so the F1 team will report through Martin.” Asked whether Whitmarsh will leave him in entirely charge of the F1 operation Szafnauer said “that stuff hasn’t been planned yet, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

  • Find more official F1 accounts to follow in the F1 Twitter Directory


Motor racing links of interest:

Miami F1 track open to hosting IndyCar, NASCAR if schedules align (Racer)

"I think it’s possible, but the limited time window from the scheduling standpoint is really the challenge. You start getting too far after the (F1) race, and it gets real hot in Miami in the summertime."

Formula 1 to stage first Qatar Grand Prix in November before 10-year deal (The Guardian)

Amnesty International UK CEO, Sacha Deshmukh: "It’s no secret that rich countries in the Middle East see top-level sport as a means to rebrand and sportswash their images, and a grand prix in Qatar would be more of the same."

Hamilton unsure why 'dream' Ferrari move never materialised as he talks F1 and when he'll stop (Sky)

"For everyone that's a dream position to be in. It was just never really fully on the cards for me. I'll never know fully exactly why, but I wish them all the best and I'm going to spend the next bit of my time stopping them from winning the championship!"

Piero Ferrari: 'Mick Schumacher macht seinen Weg' (Speed Week - German)

Ferrari: "I don't like the fact that Michael (Schumacher) is being talked about today as if he had passed away."

F1 star Mazepin discusses Russian army plans as son of billionaire says he will attend month-long ‘summer camp’ (RT)

"Did I get any marks just because I am a Formula 1 driver? No. It's hard to tell what other people have in their heads. But several times I had problems due to omissions, bad grades in some subjects. And I understood that this was a chance to fly out."

Hauger’s Guest Column: I’ve learned to never doubt myself (F3)

"We struggled a bit as a team in general Spa, but we kept on working together and we managed to get some points out of a difficult situation. That’s something that we can take with us."

First seven teams confirmed for new British Formula 4 in 2022 (Motorsport UK)

"Motorsport UK is pleased to announce seven of the world’s top single-seater teams to be racing in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA in 2022. Entries from Argenti Motorsport, Carlin, Chris Dittmann Racing, Fortec, Hitech Grand Prix, JHR and Virtuosi Racing are among the first to be confirmed on next year’s grid."

Cancellation of the 2021 FIA Karting European Championship - Suprtkart (FIA)

"At the closing date for entries, the number of participants in the 2021 FIA Karting European Championship – Superkart had not reached the minimum required for the title to be awarded."

W Series goes pink for breast cancer awareness (W Series)

"W Series will make bold statements in pink both online and on-track – highlighting a different breast cancer charity during each week of October, sharing special content featuring W Series’ drivers and staff, and giving the liveries of our racing cars a pink update for the final round of the season at the Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, USA on 23 and 24 October."

We always endeavour to credit original sources. If you have a tip for a link relating to single-seater motorsport to feature in the next RaceFans round-up please send it in via the contact form.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and