Ferrari Tests FIA's Experimental Spray Guards at Fiorano Circuit

Ferrari tested FIA-designed spray guards at Fiorano circuit to improve visibility on wet tracks in Formula 1 racing. The latest design covers the complete wheel and tire, but a video suggests it may not be effective in reducing spray.

author-image
Bijay Laxmi
New Update
Ferrari Tests FIA's Experimental Spray Guards at Fiorano Circuit

Ferrari Tests FIA's Experimental Spray Guards at Fiorano Circuit

Ferrari recently conducted tests at its Fiorano circuit to evaluate new spray guards designed by the FIA to improve visibility on wet tracks in Formula 1 racing. The tests, part of the FIA's broader 'wet weather package' research initiative, aimed to address the longstanding issue of spray-related visibility problems during rainy on-track sessions.

The latest version of the spray guards, tested on a 2022 Ferrari F1 car, covers the complete wheel and tire. This allows the FIA to identify whether the wheels or underfloor generate the majority of the spray. The design enables various sections of the front tire shrouds to be opened and closed, helping determine which areas contribute most to the visibility issues.

However, a video posted on social media suggests that the spray guards may not be as effective as hoped. Aerospace engineer and motorsport enthusiast Bryson Sullivan explained, "Further images of the spray pattern created by the wheel cover prototypes show that the water trail is much wider with the mudguards than without them. This implies that the airflow of the car itself is responsible for most of the spray, not the tires."

The FIA faces additional challenges with the current spray guard design, as it makes it difficult to perform tire changes during live pit stops - a capability the organization wants to maintain in races where the wet weather package is used. If the airflow proves to be the primary culprit, the FIA may need to significantly modify the entire single-seater concept to solve the visibility problem on wet tracks.

This marks the second attempt by the FIA to address the spray issue, with an initial trial of wheel covers taking place last year. Ferrari's involvement in testing the latest iteration of the spray guards at Fiorano demonstrates the ongoing collaboration between the FIA and F1 teams to improve safety and visibility in wet racing conditions.

Key Takeaways

  • Ferrari tests FIA's new spray guards at Fiorano circuit to improve visibility in wet F1 racing.
  • Spray guards cover entire wheel and tire to identify source of spray and visibility issues.
  • Initial tests suggest airflow, not tires, may be primary cause of spray and visibility problems.
  • Current design hinders tire changes during live pit stops, a capability the FIA wants to maintain.
  • This is the FIA's second attempt to address spray issue, with ongoing collaboration with F1 teams.