breaking news

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.”

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Social media

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