F1 to trial fitting cars with wheel arches in wet races to reduce spray problem

The FIA is commissioning a study that may lead to Formula 1 cars being fitted with temporary wheel covers during extreme wet running in a bid to improve driver visibility.

F1 to trial fitting cars with wheel arches in wet races to reduce spray problem

Heavy spray thrown up by the cars during wet running has been a problem in F1 since the era of sophisticated aerodynamics began, but the drivers have suggested the problem has become worse with the new ground effect cars that were introduced at the start of this season.

This reflects the aims of changing to such designs, as the turbulent air thrown back from the ground effect cars goes higher and wider in a bid to create closer racing by allowing drivers to follow each other more easily through corners.

In a statement summarising the topics discussed at the latest F1 Commission meeting, which was held at the Yas Marina circuit during the opening day of track action for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the FIA outlined its plan to address the spray issue.

This is headlined by the possibility of cars being fitted with wheel covers in the worst wet weather conditions F1 can currently race in – where the use of Pirelli's extreme wet tyres is mandatory.

If the study indicates wheel covers would indeed reduce the spray for the drivers, they would be fitted ahead of any race start where extreme wets are mandated or during a red flag period after which the blue-walled tyres are fitted to the cars.

The FIA statement explained that "Driver feedback has suggested that there has been reduced visibility in extremely wet conditions with this latest generation of cars, which is a key determinant on starting, or needing to suspend sessions.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

"Therefore, the FIA commenced a study to define a package of parts aiming to suppress the spray generated when running in wet conditions."

The FIA's study will also assess "the contribution of surface water picked up through the underfloor tunnels to understand its significance" to the existing bad spray problem.

Read Also:

It will also ensure that if wheel covers are introduced that they will not "unduly hinder pitstop tyre changes", per the FIA statement, while the benefit of fitting extra lights to the rear of the cars will also be assessed.

shares
comments
Ben Sulayem accepts Abu Dhabi 2021 F1 report criticisms, insists processes improved
Previous article

Ben Sulayem accepts Abu Dhabi 2021 F1 report criticisms, insists processes improved

Next article

New DRS trial for F1 sprint races set for 2023

New DRS trial for F1 sprint races set for 2023
The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023