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F1 scraps controversial idea after failed test

Racing in wet conditions has become an issue in recent years for Formula 1 - and the sport's most recent solution to tackle the issue has been abandoned.

Ocon rain Zandvoort race
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Formula 1 has seemingly abandoned its plans to introduce wheel covers during wet conditions following a recent test.

Spray in wet weather conditions has become an increasing issue in recent years, with many drivers complaining over a lack of visibility on a number of occasions.

The covers were recently spotted at a test from Fiorano, with Ferrari assisting the FIA with the potential to solve the matter.

Some fans took issue with how the spray guards impacted the look of the car - and now the FIA has determined after the recent test that the solution is not viable for F1.

“We always knew that there were two main contributing factors to the cloud of spray,” FIA head of single-seater matter Nikolas Tombazis said. 

“One was how much water is picked up from the ground from the diffuser, and the other one is from the wheels.

“What we thought we'd do is try to do a total wheel cover, even beyond what would be practical, to see what is the maximum we can possibly achieve with that - in order to see whether that is the solution or not.

“While they do have a bit of an effect, they don't have a significant enough effect to say that that's the solution. Therefore we are back to square one.”

Compromise

Tombazis also refuted the design must be visually appealing, outlining the most important factor is to find a solution to allow for uninterrupted wet weather racing.

“We need to think of different solutions,” he stated. 

“Ultimately, what we want to avoid is a Spa 2021 situation where a race gets cancelled, or severely shortened, or severely delayed.

“Clearly, it's always going to be a compromise. The wheel covers themselves were quite ugly, but if they had done a significant contribution, then we would have been perfectly happy to install them once a year if that makes a difference between cancelling a race or not.

“It was never intended to be 'every time it's wet we put them on'. But unfortunately, we do need to try to think of other solutions.”

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look back at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen and Lando Norris went head-to-head for the victory around the famous Imola Circuit as McLaren continue to pile the pressure on Red Bull!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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