Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Monte-Carlo, 2016

Drivers given new visor tear-off restrictions

2016 Monaco Grand Prix

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The FIA has introduced new restrictions on the use of visor tear-off strips by drivers but has stopped short of banning them from being dropped outside the car.

From this weekend drivers will be prevented from using tear-offs during practice, including qualifying, but can use them with restriction in the race.

“For this race we’ve been permitted two tear-offs in the race itself so I think that will be sufficient,” confirmed Mercedes executive director for technical Paddy Lowe in today’s FIA press conference.

The clamp-down on tear-offs has been introduced after some drivers experienced car failures related to discarded strips. Fernando Alonso suffered a braking problem during last year’s Spanish Grand Prix after a visor tear-off went into his brake duct. A similar problem affected Kimi Raikkonen during the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix.

And at the United States Grand Prix in 2014 Nico Hulkenberg blamed a visor tear-off for a loss of grip when he ran over one during qualifying.

“I think there’s a constant dialogue with the FIA to find a practical way forward for this,” Lowe added. The sport’s governing body has been exploring the possibility of requiring drivers to store used tear-offs inside their cars, providing a way can be found to do so safely.

2016 Monaco Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 37 comments on “Drivers given new visor tear-off restrictions”

    1. So when a driver crashes because he can no longer see out of his visor, then we can be pleased that at least no one else experienced a loss of performance or overheating fromy his tear-off.
      Ridiculous rule.

      1. I believe the drivers are allowed to discard the tear-offs inside the cockpit, which, to me, is quite logical. Additionally, I recall, during the re-fuelling era, drivers’ visors would be wiped with Windex at pit-stops.

        1. @serg33
          It might not be as easy as you think to discard them into the cockpit. The wind is huge in 200mph+ and they would have to secure those slippery plastic pieces real good somehow to not having them blow away out on the track 1sec after the drop them. They also cannot spend more than a couple of seconds to secure them somewhere inside the cockpit with their clumsy gloves, it wont be easy.

          1. @rethla I don’t think it’s windy in the cockpit at all.

      2. It’s all academic now, they’ve seen sense and performed another classic FIA u-turn.

        Whiting said: “I have decided, based on discussions with the drivers, they are likely to be put in more danger trying to dispose of tear-offs in the cockpit than they are from a tear-off on the track.”

        1. I think this really illustrates how far gone a lot of the ‘leadership’ at the FIA is. They seem more senile then sure of themselves, and their logic is begging to be questioned.

    2. Easiest way would be to remove them during the pitstops by a member of the crew as it is done for windscreen tear-offs by some endurance teams.

      1. Yes but that’s far too simplistic and sensible.

        1. +1 . Blasphemy

      2. Problem is there isn’t enough time when you’re doing two second pit stops.

        1. @george
          The extra second needed to remove the visor tear-off would apply to every team/driver, thus nullifying the negative.

          2sec pit-stops would simply become 3sec pit-stops. It’s fair.

          1. Why dont they just discard them in the pit lane and get someone to pick them up….

            1. Bingo!

    3. One of the theories behind the Senna incident involved the possibility that his car ran over a tear-off and lost some traction as a result. There are a series of photos online that supposedly show the tear-off on the track before Senna’s car reached it.

      1. The Senna incident in Monaco 1988 or Imola 1994?

        1. THE Senna incident.

    4. I understand why they dont want drivers putting tear offs on track. But i think they could have come up with a better solution. Instead of just 2 tear offs which you can go through pretty quick why not just make them take tear offs in the pit lane or in the cockpit and have more than 2. This might not happen but what if a driver goes through the 2 tear offs and a car in front starts leaking oil, water or some other substance and the driver can’t see. 1 there can be an accident with the other car. 2 driver has to rapidly slow down which is unsafe. 3 nothing happens and they get off track safely. My personal opinion is that those are the 3 most likely outcomes if that scenario happens.

    5. why not invent some sort of cartridge system that can be fixed to the helmet & wound on so clear vision panel when needed & no debris

      1. why not just ban open wheel racing? LMP1 has a wiper and or tear offs that can be managed in the pits.


      2. why not just ban F1? Open Wheel racing is clearly too dangerous.

        1. *some comments take a while to show up…

    6. Utter rubbish again, “lets make it look like we’re fixing issues without actually fixing them”. F1 should license this approach to problem solving, I’m sure many governing bodies would be interested in employing it…

      1. Im pretty sure those governing bodies are already up to the task.

      2. if the circuit owners and the drivers stopped paying their ‘dues’ things would change. If another organization, not the FIA challenged the turn of the FIA (international racing scene/circuits) the FIA would be forced to be more honest, but as it stands, they are virtually a monopoly, they set the price, and they have no worries about anything like a system of checks and balances, all they have to worry about is who is scratching whose back.

    7. Well if they go for the Aeroscreen or whatever it’s called, they won’t need any! Problem solved.

      1. Hahaha you’re kidding mate, right? :) now we’re going to need tear-offs for the aeroscreen… The simplest solution is to go with the Ferrari design and just mold in a hook for a little trash bag like we use in our road cars. The tear-offs can go in there ;)

      2. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
        26th May 2016, 23:17

        @petebaldwin I would love Aeroscreens, maybe even higher than the model presented by Red Bull, and an open helmet (rally style) so you could see, with a camera directed to the driver’s face, his face during full concentracion moments, such as quali, and the anger when someone ruins their race, such as Hamilton vs Rosberg, Kvyat vs Vettel, etc.

        1. I had thought of this. Has no one ever made a transparent helmet which can help us see this?
          Sometimes, in the night races, we see the eyes of the drivers and many of the drivers do look scared.

    8. Jesus has nobody ever heard of rip n roll. Surely this could be adapted to a f1 helmet, the tech is already available. If it’s good enough for the endure bikes it can handle a little track action.

      1. Alan Torres
        27th May 2016, 0:45

        If you use an hydrophobic material nothing can stick to the windshield and at 200km/h is always gonna be clean. They use this can of material to solar energy panels, walls etc…
        What do you think?

      2. That looks really elegant. :)

    9. Imagine if the best drivers in the world had to change gears with a lever low down and off the steering wheel. They’d claim it was to difficult and unsafe. Commentators wax lyrical about how cool these drivers are at 200 mph chatting to their pit……………surely they can mange to safely handle a tear off and place it into a pouch with an elasticated opening without breaking into a sweat. Put it into the simulator and make sure your paid superstar driver can do the job. If he can’t, find one that can.

      1. Finally, the voice of reason.

        1. Lol in fairness there’s an awful lot going on with the steering wheel that they didn’t have back when they were still finding their own gears. The ‘coolness’ in the cockpit is thanks to the ultra conservation preventing drivers from pushing themselves and their cars to the limit, but the cars are hopefully about to get harder to drive next year. And it sounds like an elasticized opening would take two hands. I doubt it is as easy as you are making it seem or they likely would have done it long ago.

    10. I guess one could make the tear-off out of a combustible substance so the driver could just pitch it into the engine intake above their head for a bit of a boost…OR – one could use one of the motorized tear-off units that race car drivers have used for years in the U.S.
      Oh, wait, I apologize, I forgot that F1 was the pinnacle of motorsport technology…..

    Comments are closed.