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FIA moves to close tyre pressure loophole

NEWS STORY
01/07/2016

In a letter sent to all the teams this morning, Race Director Charlie Whiting announced that in future tyre pressures will be checked before the wheels are fitted to cars.

The move comes after months of speculation that some teams were using a variety of methods to raise the pressures including heating the brakes in order that the heat is transferred to the rim, thereby increasing the tyre pressure.

Consequently, in consultation with Pirelli, Whiting has advised the teams that all tyres - old and new - will be checked before being fitted to the cars in all sessions and on the grid in the moments before the race.

"The minimum starting tyre pressures, as set out in the Pirelli preview for each event, will always be checked before the wheels are fitted to the car," wrote Whiting. "These checks will only be carried out on new tyres or used tyres from a previous session and done in the presence of, and verified by, the team's designated Pirelli engineer."

The teams must ensure that the tyre pressures are above the minimum recommended by Pirelli but will be allowed to adjust them if they are significantly above the level.

However, teams will not be allowed to release air from the tyres once the checks have been made... though air can be added.

"Once set no air may be released from the tyres but air may be added," added Whiting. "In addition, if a set of tyres is used more than once in any session there will be no requirement to reset the pressures to the minimum starting pressure."

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1. Posted by Spindoctor, 01/07/2016 17:35

"Another incisive move which will improve the spectacle no end!

But really guys, REALLY?

As edllorca suggests: how about some tyres that aren't hyper-sensitive and work decently for more than a handful of laps?"

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2. Posted by ryanhellyer, 01/07/2016 17:25

"They should be looking at ways of avoiding the need to regulate tire pressures rather than penalising people for pushing the pressure limit.

If the pressures must be controlled, then an internal pressure gauge inside the tire seems to be the only reliable way to check them.

This existing setup appears to be rife for rule breaking/bending. All they need to do now, is find a way to release the pressure during the race."

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3. Posted by NS Biker, 01/07/2016 17:16

"How incredibly naive of the FIA to not understand the basic physics of gas, pressure and changing temperatures.
This won't end as teams will now be accused of heating the tyres too much prior to installation. Look for Tyre AND wheel heaters being used prior to measurement and installation.
If I recall correctly, it wasn't that long ago that teams were desperate to get and keep heat in the wheels and tyres to maintain pressure. Drivers dragged the brakes on the warm-up lap and did a lot of go-stop-go. Now it is all reversed as they try to insulate the wheels from the heat of the brakes.
The teams have a bunch of incredibly inventive folks running things so no matter what regulations the FIA comes up with, there will always be a preferred or optimal solution. Not saying that everyone will like it, but .... hey, this is racing."

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4. Posted by edllorca, 01/07/2016 15:22

"I have a idea... how about designing a proper tire that the teams can run as desired? Policing tire pressures is ridicluous."

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