Tearing hurry could land F1 drivers in trouble

Wed May 25, 2016 2:26pm EDT
 
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By Alan Baldwin

MONACO (Reuters) - McLaren's Fernando Alonso was delicate in his phrasing, but left little to the imagination, when discussing where Formula One drivers might have to put their helmet visor tear-offs at Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.

"We have different solutions," the Spaniard told reporters on Wednesday when asked about the governing FIA's plans to enforce a long-ignored rule that bans drivers from throwing tear-offs onto the track.

"We’ll try a couple and tomorrow we will find a place...some of these places I cannot tell you now because it’s plus 18 (adult certification)."

The International Automobile Federation has ordered the crackdown to prevent accidents and retirements caused by the thin transparent strips getting caught in brake ducts.

Drivers may have 10 or more layered on their visors which they tear off one by one as their vision becomes impaired by grease or grime.

At a tight and twisty harbourside circuit like Monaco, with the track hemmed in by metal barriers, being in too much of a tearing hurry can have serious implications in more ways than one.

Alonso, a double world champion, has had two such incidents including one in Spain last year where his own tear-off caught in the McLaren's brake duct and ended his race. The other was caused by someone else's refuse.

"It’s a strange rule. We’ve never had this kind of rule, but it’s not a problem to keep the tear-off inside the cockpit. It’s okay," he said.   Continued...

 
Formula One - Spanish Grand Prix - Barcelona-Catalunya racetrack, Montmelo, Spain - 13/5/16 McLaren's F1 driver Fernando Alonso attends the first free practice. REUTERS/Juan Medina