FIA wheel tethers come under the spotlight

By Erica Southey - Motorsport.com The 10th of September 2000 marked a sombre day at Monza when a 30 yr old marshal, Paolo Ginslinberti, died due to injuries sustained after a 6 car pile up. Heinz-Herald Frentzen in his Jordan Mugen Honda...

By Erica Southey - Motorsport.com

The 10th of September 2000 marked a sombre day at Monza when a 30 yr old marshal, Paolo Ginslinberti, died due to injuries sustained after a 6 car pile up. Heinz-Herald Frentzen in his Jordan Mugen Honda sparked off the incident when he clipped the back of his teammate, Jarno Trulli's car. A flying wheel off De la Rosa's car struck Ginslinberti who later died in hospital after being treated for his injuries and given CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation).

In the wake of the latest fatality of the 52 year old marshal, Graham Beveridge, the FIA wheel tethers are said to be too weak to handle impact.

Following the death of Ginslinberti last year, the FIA mandated that double tethering be used to avoid wheels flying off on high impact. A lightweight composite material, namely Kevlar was introduced. Though it proved to hold out very well in low speed impacts, it showed up unsuccessful in high impact incidents as happened this Sunday.

Kevlar was specifically used for its lightweight and high pulling strength, but lacks durability of strength. What happens is that while the Kevlar holds the wheels, failure happens when the wishbones break and cut the tethers, resulting in wheels flying off at impact.

With the latest death, it is thought that steel would be a better option due to its endurance capacity and adequate pulling strength, as opposed to the current lightweight high pulling cables.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli
Teams Jordan