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The number of tethers required to hold lose Formula 1 wheels in place will be doubled ahead of the 2011 season, it has been confirmed by McLaren’s Paddy Lowe. The parts attempt to prevent wheels from flying off cars during accidents.
Although technology around tethers has significantly improved since the start of the last decade, Vitantonio Liuzzi’s Hockenheim qualifying crash last Saturday proved that – should contact with an object be made at a certain angle – wheels can still come lose from cars, although Lowe hopes to see chances of such happenings fundamentally lowered next season.
“Wheel tethers are of great concern to us,” the Director of Engineering told journalists in the Vodafone phone-in.
“We had a tragic (Formula 2) incident with Henry Surtees last year and we also see wheels coming off F1 cars rather more often than we'd like to - the tethers are working but they're not reliable enough.
“What we find is that, when they don't work, they’ve been cut for some reason due to the nature of the accident; our thinking now is that, if you put two tethers on each corner which are run independently, then we're going to drastically improve the probability that one or both of them survive an accident.”
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