Additional wheel tether added for next season

The Technical Working Group have agreed to make an additional wheel tether mandatory for the 2011 F1 season.

The existing tethers are intended to prevent a wheel leaving the chassis in the event of an accident, but have failed in a number of recent high-profile incidents.

Sir John Surtees’ son Henry Surtees was killed last year in an F2 race at Brands Hatch by an errant wheel from a competitor’s car. In China, Sebastien Buemi’s front wheel tethers both failed as he braked for a hairpin and the Swiss was lucky to escape injury.

Speaking to journalists yesterday, McLaren’s engineering director Paddy Lowe confirmed that the group had agreed the measure.

“One of our tasks is to constantly address safety and we have agreed to do something for next year – it has been published in the rules,” said Lowe. “We will introduce a second tether on every corner.

“Rather than try to make each tether 100 per cent reliable, what we found is that when they don’t work they have been cut for some reason due to the nature of the accident. What we’re thinking is if there are two on each corner, run independently, then it drastically improves the probability that one or both will survive.”