FIA to police tyre pressures with standard monitors

The FIA is planning to introduce a standard tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) to Formula 1 in 2021, giving the governing body full information on pressure and temperature of all tyres in use over a grand prix weekend.

FIA to police tyre pressures with standard monitors

The move coincides with F1's transition to 18-inch Pirelli tyres and ban on tyre blankets.

It will have the double policing benefit of addressing the issue of teams potentially running on track with lower pressures than those mandated by Pirelli, while ensuring that the tyre blanket rule is respected.

The FIA has issued an invitation to tender for the new TPMS, with a deadline of submissions of August 30. A decision will be made by October 4, and a prototype system has to be delivered to Pirelli by November 15, for use in early testing of 2021 tyres in December.

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Teams will receive their first examples in February. The initial contract will be for 2021, 2022 and 2023, but the FIA will retain the option to extend it by two years.

This is the second recent example of the FIA using a tender to improve its ability to police what teams are doing from 2021 onwards, following the push for common fuel system internals.

Introducing the tender, the FIA notes: “A standard system to monitor F1 tyre temperatures and pressures is planned to be introduced for the 2021 F1 season.

“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.”

The sensors will have to work with the standard 18ins rims that the FIA also plans to introduce, although no decision has been made public about a winning bidder for the latter.

In addition to pressures, the sensors are required to transmit rim temperature, internal air temperature and inner carcass temperature.

The FIA makes it clear that the TMPS will monitor all tyres stored in a team’s garage. Each team’s system will have to deal with up to 200 sensors – or 50 sets of tyres, more than the current combined total of slicks and wets mandated for two cars on a race weekend.

It says that the system “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 full system that bidders are required to supply is as follows:

  • 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.
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