Coulthard calls for wing tethers

Following his high speed crash at Monza last weekend, Red Bull driver David Coulthard has called on the FIA to introduce front wing tethers to all cars.

Formula 1 cars already have tethers which hold their wheels to the chassis. The tethers are made from a high strength material and are designed to ensure that if a driver does crash, the wheels stay with the car, lessening the chances of hurting another driver, marshal or spectator. The tethers were introduced following the deaths of fire marshal Paolo Gislimberti at the Italian Grand Prix in September 2000 and Graham Beveridge, another marshal, at the Australian Grand Prix six months later. Both were hit by flying debris, and in the case of Beveridge, it was a tyre from Villeneuves damaged BAR that killed the F1 fanatic from Winfield in Queensland.

On Sunday, Coulthard, having made up five places on the first lap, tapped the back of the Renault of Fisichella. As he headed through the flat-out Curva Grande, his front wing detached and lodged under his car, causing him to crash heavily into the tyre barriers on the outside of the gravel trap.

“It made me realise that if you put a tether, like we have on the wheels, on the front wing, if it did come off, it stays with the car,” Coulthard explained. “It if goes under the car, you lose the steering and then you are in the shit.”