26 May 2016
F1 Monaco GP: Drivers unclear over new tear-off rules
Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso say drivers must come up with their own solution to dispose of tear-offs following a ban to throwing out them out.
Jenson Button has compared the impending rule preventing the dumping of used visor tear-offs to the introduction of the HANS device, insisting that drivers will get used to be a little more tidy around the racetrack.
Having twice been postponed, new regulations governing the disposal of tear-offs come into force at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix and Button admits that it will initially be tricky to remember not to just cast the unwanted film outside the cockpit.
“We have to not throw them out of the cars, so it is a case of finding a way of putting them somewhere else,” he explained, “It is not the easiest thing to do, especially if you have been taking off tear-offs for 20 years of your life. Even when you know you have to stick them in the car, your hand is in the air and you are trying to put it back into the cockpit.”
Revealing that each team was free to come up with its own solution to the problem of storing the discarded tear-offs, 2009 world champion Button conceded that the rule had not been popular amongst the drivers, but admitted that complying would probably become second nature.
“None of us really like it,” he confirmed, “It's like a HANS device, no driver liked it, it wasn't comfortable, but, after one race, you forget and deal with it. It is silly in one way, but [McLaren team-mate] Fernando [Alonso] has had two failures the last couple of years with tear-offs going in the brake duct. It happens and you end up with failures, but it is not a safety issue.”
Alonso, meanwhile, claimed that it was a 'strange rule' for the governing body to be introducing when there were other, more serious, matters that needed addressing, but agreed that the drivers would quickly get into a routine of disposing of the tear-offs inside the cockpit.
"We have different solutions that we will find tomorrow,” he said, referring to opening practice for the Monaco Grand Prix, “We'll try a couple and, tomorrow, we will find a place – although some of these places I cannot tell you now because it's 18+!
"I think we will have to do it in the pit lane to be honest. When we do the pit stops it's ten seconds when we are 60kph, it's the perfect opportunity to do all these things."
Alonso also revealed that the drivers had yet to be informed of the likely penalty should they not comply, or simply forget and fall into their old habits of chucking tear-offs overboard.
"We are still asking the FIA what the penalty will be, and there is still some debate about that," the double world champion confirmed."
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