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Tyre Warmers Stay For 2009

Tyre Warmers Stay For 2009

The FIA World Council has decided to scrap plans that would have seen the end of tyres being pre-heated in blankets before being sent out on the cars. There has been a lot of talk recently about the rules and regulations for next season – both technical and sporting – and the FIA have been holding meetings this week to iron out a few things. However, the TWG voiced concern over difficulties in controlling minimum tyre pressures without warmers and along with the realisation that the teams would use blankets in testing anyway, null and voiding the cost-saving they had hoped for, the plans were shelved.

Many drivers criticised the move when the FIA said it was looking into banning tyre blankets for next year, and when the teams ran slick tyres in tests earlier in the year, they found that the difference between a cold slick and an up-to-temperature slick was a lot, meaning there would be very fast and particularly slow cars on the same track during races. This, the drivers say, could be dangerous.

The first lap is very slow, and that’s the danger. There are cars which are up to racing speed and you are coming out of the pits very slowly. You are like a mobile chicane. Pedro De La Rosa.

Team directors also said that the cost-saving the FIA were hoping for wouldn’t work. The teams would continue to use blankets during testing and I really cannot believe that tyre blankets cost that much money. And it’s not as though they’re disposable – the teams do reuse them.

You can run tyres for sure without blankets, lot of formulae do, but we are a particularly competitive formula and if you don’t run blankets with tyres you need to have a minimum pressure control.

The TWG said it wanted to keep tyre blankets because it could not see a solution to controlling minimum tyre pressure, and that was a big worry. So the option of having blankets was the easiest. Ross Brawn.

So tyres will continue to be warmed in 2009, when hopefully rubber will revert to slicks, but the impression given is that this idea won’t go away for too long as the FIA will hope for a solution to the tyre pressure issue.

Image © HondaF1.

Oliver White

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