Vettel wants FIA to act on ‘pointless’ F1 brake dust problem

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The German got out of his Aston Martin after the Austrian Grand Prix with his face spattered with black carbon dust thrown up from his brake discs throughout the Red Bull Ring event.

Vettel believes that a change to the brake duct rules for this year, with teams now forced to reject airflow from the carbon discs straight rearward rather than it being blown through the wheels, means more dust is getting ejected towards the cockpit.

He wants the FIA to look into the matter and find a way to improve things, as he believes there are simple solutions that could be put in place.

“To be honest with you, that is something they need to work on because the design of the brake ducts this year, with the front axle, it is blowing all the brake dust into our faces and it is not good,” he told Sky.

“Breathing in carbon dust is something that is not really that healthy to breathe in. I hope the FIA looks into this very soon because it is pointless and something that is easy to change.”

It is understood that Vettel’s remarks are the first time that the FIA has been made aware of a potential issue this year regarding the brake dust situation, but the governing body is always open to listening and acting on concerns of drivers.

Aston Martin AMR22 front brake detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Vettel’s complaints about brake dust are not the first time the issue has come up, with the topic having been raised back in 2019.

Then Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas revealed that he often sneezed black dust after races thanks to breathing in brake dust through races.

Asked what could be done about the problem, he said: “I don’t know if there is anything that can be done.

“For sure there is some dust from your own brakes but that is minimal. It is the cars ahead, it is always going to be there. Any time after the race when you sneeze it is black, so year after year, I am not sure what it does to your body. No idea.

“I think no one ever looked into it. I would rather be breathing clean air but not sure what can be done.”

Former grand prix driver Mika Salo first highlighted the brake dust problem nearly 20 years ago after revealing that doctors found a high content of carbon dust in his lungs during an operation he had after his retired from F1 in 2002.

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