F1 drivers voice their opinion on the mudguards which is to be tested next week at Silverstone to lessen spray in wet races.

Next week, the FIA are undertaking a test which will be a first for F1 in recent times. The new wet weather “mudguards” will be tested next Thursday at Silverstone. It is a very interesting and unique scenario that the sport is exploring, with the running to be done by McLaren and Mercedes.

It is not yet clear but there could a parallel running of a car with mudguards and a car without it during the test so as to gather results of both and compare them. The wheel arch or mudguard idea and concept came to the surface after the 2021 Belgian GP which was infamous to say the least with heavy rain washing out the race and in short no laps were undertaken.

The idea will be that all 20 cars of the grid will have the wheel arches fitted should there be extremely wet conditions like Spa in 2021 and ensure racing can occur with less spray for the F1 drivers behind. Should the track dry, then the devices will in fact stay on the cars.  The hope is that it will work and perhaps be used at lower levels of racing too in the future.

Here’s F1 drivers talking about the potential test –

Sergio Perez: “Yeah, I think if they work, I will definitely like to see them put in, certainly Formula 1, although it’s going to be quite penalising, maybe more for some teams than others in terms of downforce, but I think it’s where it’s something that safety should come first and it might allow us to race in more dangerous conditions, especially what has happened last weekend, I think it’s something that we got to improve. But for now I think it’s just important that race directors let us race only when it’s safe, and actually the whole grid is able to see something.”

Lance Stroll: “Yeah, it’s a huge safety issue at the moment and it needs to be addressed. We can’t see anything in heavy wet weather. I can remember Japan last year, I can recall many races over the past few years in Formula 1 where you just cannot see anything when you’re behind a car and it’s extremely dangerous if someone has an incident in front of you and is sideways in the middle of the track. You can’t see where you’re going. We shouldn’t be racing in those conditions and it’s terrible what happened last week. I don’t think that race should have gone ahead in those conditions with the layout of that track. And I remember being in that exact situation in Spa where you’re coming up on top of Eau Rouge and you’re in the middle of the pack and you can’t see anything. I don’t think we should be racing like that, so it definitely is something that if it works, has to be put on the cars as quickly as possible. And if it doesn’t work we shouldn’t be putting ourselves in situations where we’re racing in conditions where we can’t see. Accidents can happen and they can be really severe accidents. So definitely, if it works, get it on the cars as quickly as possible and hopefully it does work and it’s a great solution going forward to wet weather racing.”

Lando Norris: “I’d say it’s about time that we’re going to do something. I think as drivers we’ve said it for years that something needs to be done. I think we’ve been lucky that nothing has happened within…I’d say Formula 1, or many other categories, and in the worst case, sadly, we’ve had to lose a life for people to realise that those things can happen and if it could just happen there it could have happened last weekend for us in Austria. It’s a shame we had to see such a consequence for people to understand what can happen in any case, but yep, I think it’s something that needs to be done. I would say it’s the biggest safety concern at the minute within Formula 1, no matter what way you look at it, you just say what’s the next thing that can improve safety the most? It’s actually being able to see where we’re going. That helps sometimes, so yeah, I look forward to it. I’m doing a test so we’ll see soon how good it’s going to be but if it doesn’t work, something else needs to be done to find a solution.”

Kevin Magnussen: “I don’t think I can say much that hasn’t already been said. But I agree with Lando, it’s the next biggest thing right now. I feel very safe enough in a Formula 1 car in all situations but this one, when you can’t see, it feels a million times more…It feels ridiculous, when you’re doing those speeds and you might as well close your eyes. There’s zero visibility, and it would be great if that could be improved significantly.”

Valtteri Bottas: “I think it’s great the test is happening and we always need to find some kind of solutions and just really hope that it helps even a bit but like I said, meanwhile, it is a big issue and we shouldn’t be starting races in conditions or any category shouldn’t if you basically can’t see so that’s the big thing.”

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