Titanium skids for safety, not sparks - FIA

FIA insists the new skid block rules are in fact to "ensure they are made from a lighter material and are better contained".

Titanium skids for safety, not sparks - FIA
Adrian Sutil, Sauber C33 with sparks
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W04 sends sparks flying
Pastor Maldonado, Williams FW35 with sparks flying
Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-28 sparks as he exits the tunnel
Sparks flying from Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 E21
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 sparks at Eau Rouge

Jul.15 (GMM) F1 is not mandating titanium be fitted underneath next year's cars solely to create sparks, the governing body insists.

After tests on a couple of cars were carried out during Austrian Grand Prix practice last month, the FIA has now committed to introducing new rules for 2015.

It was reported that the sole reason for adding titanium to the skid blocks was to create the kind of spectacular sparks that characterised the 80s.

But, in the wake of criticism that F1 is too often reverting to 'artificial' rules to inject excitement, the FIA insists the new skid block rules are in fact to "ensure they are made from a lighter material and are better contained".

"The skids have formerly been made of a heavy metal, which has been very resistant to wear, and they (the teams) put the skids around the points in the plank where thickness is measured," said F1 race director Charlie Whiting.

"This metal is extremely heavy and when pieces detach they can be extremely harmful. We saw two punctures in Spa previously because of bits of this metal that lay in a kerb and caused damage," he added. "In a worst case scenario they could fly off and hit someone."

So Whiting said the FIA is mandating the use of titanium next year primarily for safety reasons.

"Secondly," he explained, "the titanium wears some two to 2.5 times more quickly than the metal currently used. Thus cars will have to be run a little bit higher to manage wear and teams won't be able to drag them on the ground quite as much as they have in the past.

"The third effect is that you will see a lot more sparks, which some people think will look a little more spectacular," Whiting acknowledged.

shares
comments
Nose job for the Caterham
Previous article

Nose job for the Caterham

Next article

F1 legend Forghieri slams 'ridiculous' DRS

F1 legend Forghieri slams 'ridiculous' DRS
Load comments
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022