Jenson Button sees visor tear-off regulation ‘a bit silly’


Jenson Button - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Jenson Button sees the new FIA rule regarding drivers discarding their visor tear-offs as ‘a bit silly’.

From the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, drivers are now banned from discarding their visor tear-offs on to the track. The FIA announced in Australia that they were going to enforce a regulation in a bid to prevent retirements from the tear-offs getting stuck in brake ducts. The regulation was going to be enforced in Spain but was then pushed back to this weekend.

Drivers and teams must now find an alternative way of disposing the tear-offs but for Button he believes removing them into the cockpit in different places is not the easiest thing to do.

“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 to Autosport.

“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.

When asked his thoughts on the new rule, Button replied, “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.

At last year’s Spanish Grand Prix, the retirement of Fernando Alonso was caused after a visor tear-off strip blocked one of his rear brake ducts. This led to a failure of the rear brake system on the McLaren MP4-30. Alonso believes the new rule is strange and will be trying different solutions to find a place to store the tear-offs.

“Let’s say it’s a strange rule, because we never had this kind of rule, but it’s also not a problem to keep the tear-offs inside the cockpit, so it’s OK,” explained the Spaniard on Wednesday.

“We have different solutions that we will find tomorrow. We keep trying, we tried a couple, and tomorrow we will find a place. Some of these places I cannot tell now, because it’s a ’18-plus’ thing!

“But I think we will have to do it in the pitlane, to be honest. When we do the pitstop, this ten seconds when we are at 60km/h is the perfect opportunity to do all these things.”