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Tyre pressure monitoring systems - A new way for drivers and teams to stay alert to tyre performance

Published by Mr. C

If ever there was a dull title for a blog post eh? I wanted say a quick something about TPMS and I'll try and make it interesting. Well, interesting may be stretching it actually, but bear with me.

One of the biggest changes for this year's F1 season is the disappearance of Michelin as a tyre supplier. Now, we've already discussed, on several occasions, how having a single supplier of those black rubber things may reduce testing costs, but to the detriment of exciting and unpredictable racing, so I won't go into that now.

What I will look into is a new technology on the block, coincidentally introduced just as Michelin leaves the sport, called 'Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems'. This isn't new in the sense that it's been available on road cars for a while - it's designed to ensure drivers are alerted when tyre pressures fall below a prescribed limit. It is however new to F1.

I'm presuming the introduction has been instigated by the FIA, and may be in response to the indy-gate fiasco, where none of the Michelin-shod cars could start the race. This technology wouldn't have prevented the situation per se, but the FIA would have had more information available to them (both during practice, but crucially earlier in the season) and thus would have been able to react accordingly.

Supposedly (and there's quite a bit of conjecture in this post because, hey, I have no inside knowledge here), this technology has been introduced to F1 for the 2007 season. However, not a lot has been said about it... and that's odd. Especially as this has so many crossover benefits that can be leveraged by the FIA Foundation, in terms of their road safety campaigns along with their partnership with Bridgestone.

The other thing that's curious is - if it's new this year, who's actually using it? And is there any truth in the rumor that this same technology can be used to continuously monitor tyre temperature? And if that's true, how will that affect the outcome of races and the championship this season?

After all, he who knows his tyres, gets best performance, right? Who's getting good performance from their tyres right now, and who's struggling? Hmmm.

I know nothing more, except to say I thought something would have come up in the media about this already. For more information on similar technologies, check out the products from BERU F1 Systems.