Wheel Tethers, do they work well enough?
10th October 2010, 10:21 at 10:21 am #128190
Today we saw a few wheels seemingly randomly fall off (Kubica/Rosberg) and a few coming off in crashes (Di Grassi/Petrov). In all cases we had wheels bouncing around free from the chassis of the car. For me, I’ve noticed this many times in F1, and the tethers are supposed to prevent this.. they’re clearly not working well enough. How can they be improved? Should this be a priority for the working group? What are your thoughts? Seems it’s just a matter of time until someone gets hit, and ultimately very hurt..10th October 2010, 10:24 at 10:24 am #147243
They’re being improved for next season anyway.10th October 2010, 10:49 at 10:49 am #147244
Clearly not after today and there’s been a few flying wheels already this season in the pitlane and when Liuzzi crashed at Germany. AlthoughI’m sure Ned pointed out that Jordan were rubbish for flying wheels and maybe FI inherited it. I think he did anyway, sorry Ned if I dreamt that!10th October 2010, 10:53 at 10:53 am #147245
The tethers are built into the suspension, so if the wheel just falls off, then the tether is useless. Nothing will ever be able to stop wheels coming off in these instances.10th October 2010, 10:53 at 10:53 am #147246
Flippin’ wheel tethers – how do they work?
I suppose unless you’re making them out of diamonds, they’ll always come apart when subjected to the massive forces generated in F1 collisions. They can make them stronger, and they will, but I don’t think we’ll see the end of wheels coming off after certain collisions. Hopefully, they won’t cause any harm when they do.10th October 2010, 11:00 at 11:00 am #147247
But the tethers aren’t and cannot possibly be designed to catch wheels that aren’t secured on the car properly! They are designed to keep the wheel to the chassis, and if the wheel isn’t coming off the chassis, rather the suspension assembly itself, it is completely bypassing the tethers.10th October 2010, 11:21 at 11:21 am #147248
Petrovs wheel tether worked if you watch the replay, as already been said its part of the suspension so if the stub axle the wheel is bolted to snaps then the wheel will come off without the suspension being affected.
Also if the part of the car the tether is bolted to breaks then it’ll still come off10th October 2010, 12:09 at 12:09 pm #147249
Luizzi lost a wheel too. Point is, wheels bouncing around will hit someone in time. Henry Surtees died last year in F2 in the same way. I counted 5 today.
My personal response to this, is it’s probably the last clear and significant fatal weakness in the F1 car build. By this I mean, neck injuries have been helped a lot by the Hans Device, the monocoque is fantastic these days, fire regulations have helped massively. I don’t believe this isn’t a largely solvable problem, but it will require some significant and maybe radical engineering. This could take some time, however new materials are continuing to appear in this nanotechnological age. It’s got to be worth continuing to pursue, so many of the other real danger areas have been massively improved, it must be possible. Hopefully we don’t see any injuries from in the near future.10th October 2010, 14:28 at 2:28 pm #147250
No Steph I did say that, Force India’s tend to shed wheels rather too easily, although all the wheels stayed on the wagon today as I remember.
The incident that worried me today was Petrov’s, a relatively inocuous looking collision tore both of his rear wheels off. I don’t think wheel tethers are designed to stop wheels sliding off the rim though, so they aren’t to blame for the Rosberg and Kubica indicents10th October 2010, 15:32 at 3:32 pm #147251
We have this discussion every time someone sheds a wheel in an accident. The wheel tethers are only designed to withstand certain types of forces, often a big accident with lots of shearing forces will break the tethers. Not a lot you can do about that either – an infinitely strong wheel tether (if such a thing existed) would just pull a big chunk out of the monocoque if the accident was big enough.
Also even if the tethers fail to stop the wheels from flying off, they can at least absorb a lot of the forces involved before breaking, meaning that the wheel’s subsequent bid for freedom is a lot slower and therefore less dangerous.10th October 2010, 15:38 at 3:38 pm #147252
The forces generated at a crash are impossible to avoid.
The tethers help, but if the car crashes heavily enough, they can do nothing.
Imagine Kubica’s crash at Montreal 3 years ago. There’s nothing a tether can do in that situation.10th October 2010, 17:58 at 5:58 pm #147253
“(Tethers) can at least absorb a lot of the forces involved before breaking, meaning that the wheel’s subsequent bid for freedom is a lot slower and therefore less dangerous.”
Yes, that’s a good point that tends to go ignored10th October 2010, 18:44 at 6:44 pm #147254
At the end of the day, as pointed out by others, the stronger you make the wheel-tether-monocoque bond, the greater the likelihood of the monococque breaking.
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