Formula 1 has a history of iconic races in wet conditions, often creating a special excitement in the build-up to rain-affected sessions. However, in recent years, criticisms about the sport’s inability to run in the rain have become increasinfly prevalent across F1 news outlets.
Last weekend’s chaotic race is proof of the value wet weather conditions can offer. Fortunately, in Zandvoort, the rain arrived during the first lap – preventing a delayed or Safety Car start.
In the last few years, the wet compound of tyres has become somewhat redundant. Typically, when the rain is strong enough for full wets, a red flag is brought out due to poor visibility.
Worse still, as seen in the 2021 Belgian GP, the race may not even go ahead.
Various solutions have been proposed, including the use of ‘mudguards’ to reduce spray. These wheel arches have been tested earlier this season, although other ideas are still being floated.
One of these is the alteration of diffusers, as Stefano Domenicali revealed to the media in Italy:
“The problem of visibility that drivers have in rainy conditions must be addressed,” he is quoted as saying by motorsport.com.
“We will evaluate the mudguard system, which can limit the spray phenomenon.
“But we are also evaluating the possibility of intervening on the diffuser outlet.
“It is an important issue because if we think of the public who come to watch a race, we must limit the possibility that a Grand Prix can be interrupted.”
In a sport where innovation is a constant process, a modification to address this issue can be expected.
The question is how effectively F1 can combat what is becoming a persistent limiting factor in the overall quality of wet races.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang