Report: McLaren using brakes to heat tyres

Thursday 14th June 2012, 18:08 by Ryan Wood 

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

McLaren are reportedly able to adjust the temperature of their tyres through an adjustable opening on the wheel hub.

Such a system would be useful this season given the difference a degree or two can make to the operational window of the sensitive Pirelli tyres.

The clever yet simple system allows a mechanic, through a hole on the sidepod, to adjust a clamp on the brake hub during qualifying and the race to allow a controlled amount of hot air from the brakes to heat the tyres.

If the track temperature drops, the mechanics, one either side, would open the slot wider to allow more hot air to pass through the tyre to ensure it remains at its optimal operating temperature.

The opposite can be done when the track temperature rises.

Such a system is legal because it can only be adjusted during the pit-stops and cannot be adjusted during parc ferme after qualifying or before the race, nor can the driver make changes - much like the wing angle which is often changed during a race.

The below video explains the system in more detail:

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