Technical analysis: Shanghai



This year, Williams has been using new and quite sophisticated brake drums (the carbon cases housing the brake system). These feature a series of small apertures venting out the hot air, while drums are closed off on all other cars in order to keep the heat in and pass it on to the tyres.

As noticed and reported by Autosport’s Craig Scarborough, there is very little space between the drum and the rim with teams using anti-friction adhesive to avoid contact between both elements. Felipe Massa’s puncture in free practice might have been caused by incorrect fitting. If the drum and wheel do not line up properly, the ensuing rubbing can lead to the rim overheating and failure. Out of precaution, Williams’ mechanics applied a large adhesive tape (coloured in blue) thereafter.