Ferrari, Williams working on debris reduction 11 Sep 2004
Following the FIAs request this week for a move towards the use of bodywork materials that produce less debris in the event of an accident, Ferrari have revealed that they, in conjunction with Williams, have already conducted a number of positive tests, the results of which are being shared with all the teams.
"We're making components, some typical samples of components, and they're being constructed in a few different ways, and they're being impacted and broken, said Ferrari Technical Director Ross Brawn. Then the components are examined afterwards to see how much debris is emitted from the impact.
We've been working on a single carbon structure, and Williams have been working on a honeycomb carbon structure. Between the two teams - and these results are all shared with the Technical Working Group - we're trying to address the problem of debris left on the track.
As I say, the first results are quite encouraging. With a relatively small change in the design of the component, it seems as though we can reduce debris emission by quite a lot. We can't eliminate it completely. But in one example we crushed a carbon tube. Eighty percent of the mass of this tube was reverted to debris. With some outer coatings on that tube, we reduced it to 4 per cent. So it was a very substantial change in the debris that was emitted when this tube was destroyed.
I think Williams have had similar results on a front wing endplate where they've used Kevlar on the outside surface of the endplate. You can literally wrap it into a ball and you don't get any carbon shards coming out of it.
Currently many bodywork component materials produce small, sharp shards of debris on impact, which are difficult for marshals to clear and which can cause potentially dangerous punctures following an accident.