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Titanium skids for safety, not sparks - FIA

2014-07-15 09:49

MORE SPARKS IN F1: F1 cars will use titanium skid blocks in 2015 for improved safety, though fans might appreciate "more sparks" during races. Image: AP/Jon Super

BERLIN, Germany - Formula 1 is not mandating titanium be fitted underneath 2015 cars solely to create sparks, reports the sport's governing FIA.

After tests on several F1 cars were carried out during practice ahead of the 2014 Austrian GP in June, 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 1980's.


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".

F1 race director Charlie Whiting said: "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.  

"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. In a worst case scenario they could fly off and hit someone."

So Whiting said the FIA is mandating the use of titanium in 2015 primarily for safety reasons.

Whiting said: "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."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 German GP this weekend.

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