Jenson Button believes a new rule preventing Formula 1 drivers from discarding visor tear-offs during a grand prix is “a bit silly” but will soon be adapted to.
From this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix the FIA has banned drivers from throwing the tear-off strips away, although no penalty for the indiscretion has yet been determined. Drivers and teams must now find alternative ways of disposal, with the most likely place being some sort of receptacle in the cockpit of the car.
“It [the rule] is fixed now, so we cannot now throw them out of the car. We have to find a way of putting them somewhere else,” said Button. “There are many different ideas people have come up with. We can stick them in the cockpit in different places. It’s not the easiest thing to do, especially when we have been removing tear-offs for 20 years of our life and suddenly you can’t take them off. It’s difficult.
“Even when you know you have to stick them in the car, you tear them off and your hand is in the air, it’s flying around and you are trying to pull it back into the cockpit to stick it somewhere. With the first race being Monaco where you have to put it inside the car and not let go of it is tricky for everyone.”
Asked for his thoughts on the rule, Button added: “There are two ways of looking at it. It is a bit silly in one way, but then also Fernando [Alonso] has had two failures over the last couple of years with tear-offs going in the brake duct. So it happens and you end up with failures. It’s not a safety issue because teams see the brakes getting very hot, which means you have to retire.
“It [the rule] is one of those things. None of us really like it, but it’s like the HANS device, no driver liked that, it wasn’t comfortable, but after one race you forgot about it, you dealt with it, and we will [with this].”
Alonso, who suffered one of his failures in last year’s Spanish Grand Prix when his own tear-off visor flew into a rear brake duct, also feels the new rule is “strange,” but has no issues with it.
Alonso said: “We’ve never had this kind of rule, but it’s not a problem to keep the tear-off inside the cockpit. It’s OK.”
Addressing the possible quick fixes, Alonso initially joked: “We have different solutions we will find tomorrow. We’ll try a couple, and tomorrow we will find a place – some of these places I cannot tell now because it’s plus-18!”
Alonso then added: “We will have to do it in the pit lane, to be honest. When we do the pit stop and the 10 seconds we are at 60km/h is the perfect opportunity to do this thing.”