Bearman on F1 wet-weather spray guards: Back to the drawing board

Bearman on Formula 1 spray guards: Back to the drawing board

Bearman on F1 wet-weather spray guards: Back to the drawing board

Formula 1 will have to rethink proposed wet-weather spray guards after a test at Ferrari’s Fiorano track showed they made little difference, Ferrari reserve Oliver Bearman said on Thursday.

Bearman and Arthur Leclerc, younger brother of Ferrari driver Charles, tried the latest prototypes last week with the Briton following the Monegasque whose car was equipped with wheel covers.

The track was wettened on the straights, with Bearman testing how much difference enclosing the wheels made to the car behind.

“I think you saw the videos, it was quite similar. So I think back to the drawing board, we need to keep looking at it,” Bearman told reporters at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where he will be taking part in first Friday practice with Haas.

“The visibility was still pretty tough out there. It was slightly better for sure, the work has gone to something, but not fixed.

“We did four or five runs just trying different levels of openness, because if it (the cover) is fully closed, it’s also quite tough for the temperature of the tyres,” he pointed out.

Drivers said last year that racing in rain and spray was F1’s biggest current safety concern

A trial at Silverstone last July in a post-British Grand Prix Pirelli tyre test showed more development was needed, however, with a lot of spray coming from the car’s rear diffuser.

That test took on greater significance as it came after the death of Dutch 18-year-old Dilano van’t Hoff in a wet junior series race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

Bearman has six free practice sessions this season with Ferrari-powered Haas, who have at least one vacancy for 2025 after the future Audi team run by Sauber announced Nico Hulkenberg would be joining them.

Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen, who is in danger of a race suspension due to the accumulation of penalty points, is also out of contract at the end of the year.

Bearman, who impressed by finishing seventh in Saudi Arabia in March as a stand-in for Carlos Sainz at Ferrari, said he would be ready to replace Magnussen for a race if needed.

He added that he did not feel entitled to a full-time Haas seat, however, saying: “I still have to go out there and earn it through good performances in F2.

“Even more so the six FP1s I’m doing I have to perform well in and show that I’m ready to come into F1 next year,” Bearman concluded. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)