Gary Anderson on the FIA’s experiments with mudguards

Gary Anderson, former racing car designer and now expert for The Race, commented on the FIA’s experiments to create a system that would solve the problem of poor visibility in rain.

The FIA ​​continues its research into creating special mud flaps that can be used in Formula 1 in wet conditions, and the second attempt looks much better than what we saw last year.

Since for this it is most correct to completely cover the entire wheel – then you can accurately determine what mainly causes the veil of splashes – namely the tires or the underside of the car.

Visibility problems are largely due to the spray trail behind the front wheels. When moving in the area between them, but also in the cockpit, a zone of low pressure is created, so that the spray is also drawn there. The version of the splash guards currently being tested allows individual sections to open and close, allowing you to see where exactly this plume is primarily originating.

Admittedly, the car with fenders on it looks quite unimportant. In addition, there is another problem: if you have to change the tires in rainy conditions, including due to a flat tire, you can assume that the race is over for you.

However, the FIA ​​​​is trying to find a solution that allows them to quickly install mud flaps at a pit stop when switching to rain tires, although it is still difficult to imagine how realistic this is.

In fact, it turns out that the only way to solve the problem is to stop the session or race so that the teams can fit everything to the cars. Unless of course, during further research, a certain design of mudguards is developed that will make it possible to change tires without much effort.

The greatest difficulty with visibility in rain is experienced by the driver who is following, because the spray plume is created by the rear wheels, rear wing and diffuser of the car in front of him on the track.

It turns out that to achieve a noticeable result, it is necessary to come up with something that essentially turns Formula 1 vehicles into closed-wheel cars. In this case, it may be more correct to find a more aesthetic solution and use such a design all the time, rather than installing it on cars only in bad weather, although the FIA ​​​​is pursuing this so far.

Time will tell whether mud flaps will become a mandatory solution, but for now everyone can submit their ideas to the federation. It seems that even purists will be able to quickly get used to such an innovation, as was the case with the Halo system, which has already proven its effectiveness more than once. If such a decision allows racing in heavy rain conditions, rather than waiting for the weather to clear while staying in the pits, then the positives could well outweigh the negatives.

Source: F1 News

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