Formula 1 news: It is a move that has been under consideration for many years. The ban on electric tyre blankets, that is.
So, what is a tyre blanket? It is such a cover that warms up the tyre to absolute perfection which then offers supreme grip. Or if you’re Lewis Hamilton, you could even warm up yourself!
Fun fact: An F1 team spends roughly €300,000 on these blankets alone on a complete set of 40 blankets.
The worse part is, that every two years, these blankets have to be changed or updated if you may. Most teams have already placed orders for next season.
Formula 1 news: Should F1 ban the electric tyre blankets?
Scuderia AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost certainly thinks so: “Three or four years ago, I was pushing very hard to get rid of these blankets.”
“Four weeks ago, or three weeks ago, I approved the order for next year’s new tyre blankets, €375,000. I ask myself…what for?”
Furthermore, when you look into it, the blankets are now doing a much more complicated job.
They not only heat the tyres, but also the rims, the carcass, and the surface itself in the correct manner.
Moreover, this requires 4-5 engineers working on this alone, not to mention the huge amount of energy it would take. Sebastian Vettel won’t be a happy man, surely.
However, not every team is with this idea. They worry about the warming up issues it will bring, should the blankets be scrapped altogether.
Already even after the blankets, drivers have to do two warm-up laps to bring the temperature in their tyres.
Teams that are more prone to saving money are rooting for the ban because for them, it all works just fine.
Formula 1 news: How does the destiny look for these blankets?
From next year onwards, F1 will go to just 20 blankets per team as the Wet and Intermediate compounds won’t be allowed to be preheated at all.
Additionally, the new, 18-inch tyres have a different warm-up pattern because they flex less due to the narrower flank, so it could be an issue.
Pirelli also warns that tyres that are too cold can easily be destroyed in their initial stages, something that won’t be helpful when it comes to Q2.
Is there a solution?
Franz Tost has an idea in his mind which has something to do with, you guessed it right, science.
He says the FIA has to come up with a sensor to monitor the pressure. If something of this sort does happen, there would be an added pressure on Pirelli to come up with tyres that will work regardless of these blankets.
Similarly, it is also being said that from 2024, F1 could even look at zero use of the blankets and ban tyre warming completely.