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Teams urge rethink on 2024 blanket ban


Following negative claims by the drivers, teams have called for a rethink on the plan to ban tyre blankets in 2024.

The FP2 sessions at the Circuit of the Americas and Mexico City given over to tyre testing for Pirelli weren't only about giving feedback on the proposed 2023 compounds.

With the FIA set to ban tyre warmers from 2024, over the course of the preceding seasons the sport is gradually weening the teams off the practice, with the maximum temperature reduced to 70 degrees this year and then 50 degrees next season.

The FP2 sessions in Austin saw the tyres heated to just 50 degrees in preparation for next season, but following complaints from the drivers this was raised back to 70 degrees in Mexico, yet still it was clear that drivers were struggling.

"We're going to have a lot of crashes," predicted Max Verstappen following the Austin test. "Also, your tyre degradation is going to be completely different because your tyres are very cold, you're sliding around a lot in the first few laps, your tyre pressures are going to go through the roof.

"Your tyres are going to deg a lot more and, at the moment, I don't really enjoy but I mean a lot of drivers say the same," he added. "We have to of course find a solution to that.

"Austin is still a track where you can easily switch on the tyres because of the high-speed cornering, but if you go to a track like a street circuit, Monaco, can you imagine on half-half conditions? I think is going to take like half the race before you have temperature in your tyres.

"You have a lot less power," he responded when asked how other categories manage without the blankets, "these cars are very heavy as well. I've tried it and it's just really almost impossible to drive.

"In my private time I drive a GT3 car with no tyre blankets, but these cars are a lot more forgiving and it's a lot easier to manage than these kind of cars, because if you go on the power a little bit too much, with the power you have from the engine, I mean it can be a big, big issue."

"This was like the best possible conditions to have these tyres; super warm, hot track temp, high-speed first sector to get the temp in, and they were not nice," said Lando Norris. "It's so easy to front lock, so easy to rear lock, completely unpredictable.

"Imagine going to a much colder race track, or if it's a little bit damp or something... everyone's going to shunt the car at some point."

"It's quite hard to compare because we did a harder tyre in Austin at a lower blanket temperature," said Mercedes Andrea Shovlin following the Mexico test. "What we have now is, you know, what we had this weekend is very similar to what we've run before.

"I think the challenge of taking a car that's this fast, this powerful, that has this much downforce and making a blanket-less tyre is incredibly difficult," he admitted. "I think it's very easy to look at the Formula 2 series and say, 'well, they do it', but the energies involved are enormously higher, we're doing around 20 seconds quicker at some circuits.

"That challenge for Pirelli is very, very difficult. It requires a lot of steps of technical development. And the sport has to be very careful that the legislation on blankets does not get ahead of the rate at which we can develop the tyres.

"Pirelli's problem is not a static one. These cars have got more downforce in a straight line than the cars we used to have. The high-speed loads are very, very high and the teams are constantly working to add performance. And for Pirelli to just keep up with that constant development is difficult.

"So you would say 'yes, of course, you can make a blanket-less tyre', Pirelli probably could give us one straightaway. But that tyre would not lead to good racing, it would not allow the drivers to push as hard, you would end up with very high tyre pressures and a significant loss of grip.

"It's a case of balancing the needs of the sport, along with environmental concerns that are all being addressed. But the big concern is making sure that we don't end up with a worse sport, because we've led it with the legislation on what we want to achieve."

"The difference from here to Austin was that we ran the tyres at 70 degrees here, but heated we did them for two hours," said Alan Permane. "Normally, our heat time is three hours and Mario from Pirelli tells us that 70 degrees at two hours is the same, or even a little bit less, than 50 degrees at three hours.

"So it seems like they've already found a good compromise from Austin, where our drivers, certainly Fernando, said it's actually dangerous, he really felt a lack of grip.

"You can see some power sliding and things like that, and you rarely see any of that sort of thing. So I think that they found a good direction, something that hopefully we can take through to next year. And that buys them a little bit of time for 2024, which at the moment is blanket-less, but I agree that that is a very big challenge. Very big."

"I think we just need to give Pirelli the right time and the right chance, the right opportunities, testing opportunities, to develop the product that will meet everything that Andrew just explained," said Laurent Mekies. "Once we have that we can then move to the blanket-less approach."


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1. Posted by kenji, 07/11/2022 23:58

"@ reducing the blanket use it puts drivers to the test. I want to see drivers employing their not inconsiderable skills to get the best performances out of their cars without any artificiality...into which category tyre blankets really fall. Teams have free choice of tyre selection now so they will adapt to this new rule as suits them best. Pirelli will no doubt alter their compounds somewhat also to meet the new demands. The biggest problem I see are those that rail and rant whenever change is in the air. F1 has withstood all manner of changes and protests ove the years. My guess is that it will continue........irrespective."

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2. Posted by Spindoctor, 07/11/2022 14:31

"Another change symptomatic of F1's slow decline into irrelevance through pointless attempts to make it "better". Pirelli are forced to make tyres that only last a few laps at racing speed even when properly heated & deployed. The need for warm up is designed into the tyres, without it they simply don't work properly and then wear prematurely.

I'm pretty sure the "best drivers in the world" can work around these deliberate shortcomings, but what's the point of that? Why should they have to? I want to watch Motor Racing, not an extended exercise in Tyre Management.
Historically everyone who contributed to the cars was trying to make them faster, not as in this instance artificially reduce performance and introduce unpredictable handling.

It would be a different matter if Pirelli were to be allowed properly to design tyres which operate effectively over a wider temperature range, and with minimal pre-heating. Tyres in MotoGP (for example) fulfil these criteria perfectly. While they'll bite the unwary who abuse them, and can go off if not intelligently used, they also allow flat-out racing as long as the pilots take proper care of them. That should surely be the full extent of drivers' "tyre management" in Formula One also.

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3. Posted by kenji, 07/11/2022 13:31

" @ yakker It will be the same for all drivers and their engineers to figure out how to get the tyres to working temp as quickly as possible. Some will and some won't but it will be another test for the world's best. We might just see those who think they are the best actually experience some problems and that can't be bad for the series. There are already too many driver aids...let's get back to making these guys earn their uber remittances. A bit of 'slippin n slidin' should be fun to watch."

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4. Posted by yakker, 07/11/2022 12:51

"Sorry Kenji I don't agree. What is the point of building the worlds fastest cars and then running tyres that can't cope with the performance? Nothing to do with prima-donna drivers.


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5. Posted by Pavlo, 07/11/2022 10:22

"I agree with @kenji, it's ridiculous how "best drivers in the world" tell us it's not possibly to drive the car "the best engineers in the world" did build.
Obviously, any modern F1 car with any setup on any tires has much more grip and is much easier to control than F1 cars of 60s or 70s.
Though I appreciate the speed of youngsters, I feel they are a bit afraid of more challenging cars, where skills of the driver matter more and more experienced (aged) drivers would shine.

BUT we should remember about practical aspect (!) of such ban. Teams will start storing tires on the sun, or close to the heaters - you know, it's cold in Abu Dhabi this time of the year, we need to warm up the pits and tires just happened to lay there. Or mechanics will literally sit on the tires, warming them to 36.6 degrees.
How is FIA going to control it? In my opinion, only practical way is to limit temperature to the level definitely higher than air temperature on any F1 track... so 50 celsius?
Or better, why to limit it at all?"

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6. Posted by kenji, 07/11/2022 1:24

"@ Hippy...that's very generous of you....worthy of an uptick."

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7. Posted by kenji, 07/11/2022 1:22

"@ Defiant...Yes, I fully agree with you. For a very long time I have advocated a return by Michelin. We need one more team on the grid and one more tyre supplier. Michelin and Andretti. That would make me happy. On another related issue re tyre heat [ing]. I have always wondered why some enterprising team haven't come up with a simple exhaust diversion valve which could bleed of some exhaust gases which are directed at the small envelope in front of the rear tyres close to the track. That would partially help to provide quicker working tyre temps. It could be regulated to the first 5 laps then automatically close off. "

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8. Posted by Defiant, 07/11/2022 0:57

"I agree with Kenji on this one. Also a little with Tardis40.

As for the drivers, suck it up princesses. Everyone will be in the same boat at the same time, so this surely highlights just more aspects of truly great drivers and designers. Isn't this what the fans want?

If Pirelli aren't up to the challenge, I'm sure Michelin or one of the others will be. (wasnt the lack of interest in bigger wheels the reason Michelin pulled out before?). if that was the case, maybe now there running bigger wheels they'd be interested again."

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9. Posted by Hippy, 06/11/2022 21:34

"Kenji, I don't often agree with you, but, spot on with comment...."

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10. Posted by Tardis40, 06/11/2022 14:37

"The Condorde agreement is coming up for renewal. This is the opportunity for the teams to kick the FIA to the curb and take over the sport themselves."

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11. Posted by kenji, 06/11/2022 10:42

"The answer this question is to the conditions of the track and the tyres regardless."

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12. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 06/11/2022 10:17

"If the track temperature 2 hours before the start of a practice session, qualifying or the race is less than 30C then tyre blankets can be used to raise the temperature of the tyre to no more than 60C.


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