Jul 15, 2014, 7:01 PM EDT
Along with standing restarts and other changes, the 2015 Formula One season is set to also feature cars fitted with titanium skid blocks.
But the FIA insists that, contrary to some criticism, the titanium blocks aren’t just going to be there to jazz up the show with showers of sparks.
In recent comments, F1 race director Charlie Whiting said the new blocks are also there for safety reasons.
“The skids have formerly been made of a heavy metal, which has been very resistant to wear, and [the teams] put the skids around the points in the plank where thickness is measured,” Whiting said.
“This metal is extremely heavy and when pieces detach they can be extremely harmful. We saw two punctures in Spa previously because of bits of this metal that lay in a kerb and caused damage.
“In a worst case scenario, they could fly off and hit someone.”
Whiting went on to give other reasons behind the FIA’s decision to mandate the titanium blocks, including the titanium’s quicker wear rate than that of the metal being used on the current blocks.
“…The titanium wears some two to 2.5 times more quickly than the metal currently used,” he said. “Thus, cars will have to be run a little bit higher to manage wear and teams won’t be able to drag them on the ground quite as much as they have in the past.”
However, he did concede that the resulting sparks from the titanium “will look a little more spectacular” in the eyes of some.
During last month’s Austrian Grand Prix, the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen were fitted with the titanium blocks in a practice session.
However, per our man on the ground Luke Smith, the blocks only appeared to work in providing sparks along the main straight at Red Bull Ring – and not anywhere else on the circuit.
Mar 26, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT
Finnish driver believes that the team has made a big step forward over the winter.
Mar 26, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT
A quick look through the runners in Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 for 2015.
Mar 26, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT
Difficulties faced by a number of teams give Sauber an early chance to rack up some points.
Mar 26, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT
“I find it quite funny and interesting that the opinion is coming from individuals who have had so much success.”
Mar 26, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT
He’s finally the champion, but Will Power enters 2015 still with more to prove.
Mar 26, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT
NBCSN’s Will Buxton brings you the latest insight and interviews ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Mar 26, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT
Spaniard rejects claim that he thought he was in 1995 following his accident in pre-season.
Mar 26, 2015, 12:09 PM EDT
Two-time NHRA Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Joey Logano spent an afternoon in each other’s respective worlds — and cars — on Wednesday.
Mar 26, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
Luke Smith and Tony DiZinno give their verdict on this weekend’s Malaysian GP as Fernando returns, Manor hopes to fire up, and Red Bull prepares to declare war on Renault.
Mar 26, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
Formula 1 heads to Malaysia for the second round of the 2015 season, but will Lewis Hamilton be able to double up and maintain his winning streak?
Mar 26, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
Coyne heads into the season with two lesser experienced drivers, but looks to play spoiler.
Mar 26, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
IndyCar has a wave of younger talent in the series, who need to start winning sooner rather than later.
Mar 26, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT
Both drivers failed to race in Australia due to injury, but will return this weekend.
Mar 26, 2015, 6:38 AM EDT
Ex-Force India and Sauber man moves to Williams for 2015.
Mar 25, 2015, 5:40 PM EDT
Fernando Alonso will start his 2015 F1 season in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Mar 25, 2015, 3:57 PM EDT
After both of its cars failed to finish a lap in the season opener, Lotus looks toward the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Mar 25, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT
Your Malaysian GP TV times for this weekend on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.
Mar 25, 2015, 2:15 PM EDT
Daniil Kyvat putting Melbourne mishap behind him going into Malaysia Grand Prix.
Mar 25, 2015, 12:07 PM EDT
Watch the new TV commercial for IndyCar’s 2015 season.
Mar 25, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
Rookie driver, single-car team, and still high hopes for Bryan Herta Autosport in 2015.
- Now IndyCar’s champion, Will Power’s mindset hasn’t changed heading into 2015 0
- Alonso moves to clear up testing crash conspiracy theories 1
- NHRA Funny Car driver Cruz Pedregon trades seats for a day with NASCAR counterpart Joey Logano 2
- Can IndyCar’s next generation take it to the established veterans? 1
- Fernando Alonso talks return in Malaysian GP 2
- Nowhere to go but up for Lotus at Malaysia GP 3
- Malaysian Grand Prix highlights NBCSN’s weekend of motors coverage 0