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FIA to trial radical wet weather solution at Silverstone

Formula 1's prototype wheel arches that will be fitted to the cars in wet conditions will be tested on the track for the first time at Silverstone.

The first prototype of Formula 1's radical wet weather solution will be trialled at the Pirelli Silverstone test after the British Grand Prix. The FIA announced last year that it would be considering radical wet weather solutions, as part of a study to improve safety and visibility in wet conditions. A wheel-arch solution has been dreamt up in an attempt to reduce the spray generated by the ground effects on the current generation of cars, and potentially reduce the amount of times that a race is suspended during wet weather. The concept came after the uproar following the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix, which was ran entirely under Safety Car conditions when monsoon conditions hit the circuit. Research has been conducted by the FIA to understand how a standard-specification wet weather package can be retro-fitted to cars and produce the same aero effect from car-to-car. These have been done using Computational Fluid Dynamics, but they will run the solution for the first time at Silverstone during the upcoming Pirelli tyre test.

Upcoming test

Incidentally this test will be the final opportunity for Pirelli to test the blanket-less tyres, before they report back to the FIA, team, and F1 and determine if they will go-ahead with the regulation change next season. Pirelli F1 Chief Engineer, Simone Berra, confirmed that a test of the wet weather wheel arches will follow. "There is an FIA test after our test to test the mudguards for the future to reduce the spray," he told media, including RacingNews365.com . "There is no possibility for us to extend the [tyre] test so we hope we will have a dry test." Pirelli has indicated that it is likely that a new specification of Wet and Intermediate tyre will be needed as cars will be running with more water on track. Both teams will run 2023-spec Wet tyres which do not require tyre blankets. A single straight will be used at Silverstone and will be soaked to enable Pirelli to gather data on aerodynamics to evaluate their impact.

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