Commentary on FIA press release

There was a diagram of the skidblock included with the press release faxed to me so I perhaps have a better understanding than most. Basically, the skidblock was found to be too thin in a section in between 10cm and 80cm from the front most...

There was a diagram of the skidblock included with the press release faxed to me so I perhaps have a better understanding than most.

Basically, the skidblock was found to be too thin in a section in between 10cm and 80cm from the front most part of the skidblock.

This skidblock, made of a dense wood called Jabroc, was added at the Grand Prix of Germany as per art. 3.3 to reduce the downforce and improve the safety of Grand Prix racing cars. The skidblock accomplishes this, so claim the FIA, by increasing the clearance between the car and the road.

The skidblock is to be 10mm thick with a minimum tolerance of 1.0mm allowed for wear. In the location noted above, the scrutineers found the skidblock on Michael Schumacher's Benetton Ford to be as thin as 7.4mm.

Benetton representatives Brawn and Villadelprat argued that the thickness of the skidblock may have been reduced when Schumacher spun on lap 19. This argument was ruled to be invalid because damage to the skidblock caused by the spin was clearly visible and only at the rear of the skidblock, some 20cm from the rear of the 224cm-long skidblock.

Schumacher can of course appeal the Stewards decision to the World Council.

-Robert Heathcote, for SpeedNet and rec.autos.sport.info

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher
Teams Benetton