Overcautious Wet Conditions??

Dartman

Pole Sitter
The discussion on full wets is interesting, a tyre is designed for a purpose, the full wet is designed to dispel a certain depth of water at a certain speed, however as the tyre wears so will its capabilities, so let's assume the tyre is designed to dispel 60l of water per second this does not mean it won't aquaplane, it depends on the speed it encounters the water and the depth, also taken into account is the weight of the car and how much the tread pattern closes at the point of contact, this depends on pressure. Taking a normal tyre designed for every day use which has about 6mm of tread on average, it will aquaplane at 9 times the square root of its tyre pressure in imperial measurements, so your average car will aquaplane at around 50mph on hitting 1/4 inch puddle. The F1 cars run at about 25psi tyre pressure with a special tread pattern so they may have lifted the aquaplaning speed up to 70 or 80 mph, however the tyre is designed to dispel water whilst rotating, on aquaplaning the fronts stop thus it no longer dispels water but surfs until the speed drops to well below its designed speed and probably only start rotating again in the high 20's or enters the gravel trap. Having said all that, the tyre is very good at removing water from the track in the form of spray and thus creating a semi dry line enabling higher speeds wearing out the tyre quicker and creating that marvelous fog those behind can't see through.
That's the problem of racing in the wet, technology advances but creates its own problems, thinner tyres and wheels will reduce the aquaplaning time as the surfing area is less and control will be attained earlier, you decide when it is safe to race, the F1 driver has supreme confidence he can handle the conditions, race control want to see more than three cars finish the race.
 

rufus_mcdufus

Champion Elect
I'm pretty ignorant about all this, but the tracks themselves don't appear to the casual viewer like me to be designed that well to remove water. I understand having steep cambers would make racing a lot more "interesting" though. I expect a lot of technical work goes into the track design and materials used though, e.g. porosity?
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member

Now what this would be like to drive on in the dry, I have no idea. I read an interview with Herman Tilke who said that F1 tracks should be deliberately low grip to reduce tyre wear. Meanwhile, MotoGP want high grip tarmac as the races are shorter, and you tend to fall off a motorcycle when there isn't so much grip.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
In a statement summarising the topics discussed at the latest F1 Commission meeting, which was held at the Yas Marina circuit during the opening day of track action for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the FIA outlined its plan to address the spray issue.

This is headlined by the possibility of cars being fitted with wheel covers in the worst wet weather conditions F1 can currently race in, where the use of Pirelli's extreme wet tyres is mandatory. If the study indicates wheel covers would indeed reduce the spray for the drivers, they would be fitted ahead of any race start where extreme wets are mandated or during a red flag period after which the blue-walled tyres are fitted to the cars.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Isn't this strange. Back in 2009, when the Malaysian GP was stopped after about half distance due to rain, I posted in 606 about having wheel covers/rain flaps which would have to be fitted to the cars whenever either Inters or wet tyres were fitted. When slicks are put on the covers must be removed. You would not believe the level of abuse I got (which was not unusual for the F1 forum on 606 anyway) as this was a "ridiculous" idea, and "impossible" to achieve.

What I find most disturbing is the length of time it has taken the powers that be in F1 to realise that this is a perfectly sensible and technically feasible solution to let F1 cars race in the rain.
 

Dartman

Pole Sitter
There was still a lot of spray in the old days of skinny tyres but tracks were longer and of different layouts that tended to reduce the effect of spray, however with the introduction of wider tyres and sophisticated aero the spray is sucked off the track and air compressed and released behind the car. therefore a basic mudguard won't do that much to reduce spray, what might reduce it is to remove the front and rear wings somehow I think that may be a step too far but fun it would be.
Possibly the mudguards similar to those fitted to trucks that collect spray and turn it into water may help but the speed of a F1 car may not make that a solution.
 
Top Bottom