The FIA is looking at introducing a standardised tyre pressure monitoring system as part of its 2021 upheaval in Formula 1 regulations, with its aim to fully check on the pressures and temperatures of tyres during a race weekend.
2021 will see eighteen-inch tyres being introduced for the first time as well as a ban on tyre blankets, with the new system being put in place to ensure the latter is regulated so no team can get any advantage by secretly warming their tyres before fitting them to the cars.
The tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) will monitor all tyres stored in a team’s garage, with it looking at the pressures as well as the rim temperature, internal air temperature and inner carcass temperature of each individual tyre. Such is the scale of this operation, as of 2019, every driver has thirteen sets of dry weather tyre each weekend and seven sets of wet weather alternatives, meaning there would be a need for seventy monitors per driver for each race.
The FIA has opened a tender for the new system, with a submission closing date of 30 August, while a decision on who will take on the development of it being made by 4 October. It is hoped that the system will be available to tyre manufacturer Pirelli by 15 November so it can be incorporated in the early 2021 tyre tests set to take place in December.
“A standard system to monitor F1 tyre temperatures and pressures is planned to be introduced for the 2021 F1 season,” read the note from the FIA when announcing the tender.
“The objective is to make the tyre running pressure and temperature data available to the FIA and the teams with a standard format and level of accuracy. In addition, the use of a standard measurement chain will streamline the tyre identification process and tyre usage monitoring.”
Requirements that the bidders of TPMS need to supply include:
- Wheel sensing unit transmitting wirelessly to a remote receiver unit, a set of measurements as well as a series of metadata and diagnostics.
- Complete on-car receiving system (including ECU, antenna and one or more potential additional remote antenna) to collect the data of four wheel sensing units and forward those data via CAN to one or more designated FIA Electronic Control Unit. Data must be only accessible by the owner, identified by a unique team ID, and by the FIA.
- Complete off-car receiving system (including ECU, antenna and one or more potential additional remote antenna) to collect the data of all wheel sensing units and store them on a remote server on the team or FIA network. The device must only be able to access a unique team ID.
- Optional portable off-car receiver to collect the data of a single sensor. The device must only be able to access a unique team ID.
- FIA portable off-car receiver to collect the data of a single sensor. The device must be able to access any team ID.
As well as the above, the tender “must cover the needs for on-car use and for typical F1 tyre storage garage areas. Offers to include details of the installation required for a typical garage layout. Price list to include cost of expected complete kit for a single garage storage area.”
The TPMS is the latest suggestion in the FIA’s push to police what Formula 1 teams are doing, following the recent push to regulate fuel system internals.