Tyre-warmer ban for 2015 season in doubt

Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Qualifying, Saturday 26 October 2013.

The plan to ban the use of tyre warmers by Formula 1 teams in 2015 is currently in doubt.

This week at the Bahrain test, after Williams test driver Felipe Nasr tried an experimental Pirelli tyre, the Brazilian said it was “very difficult to get them up to temperature, even in the Bahrain heat”.

“It will be even more of a challenge at tracks such as Silverstone or Spa,” he warned.

Pirelli boss Paul Hembery said that the main issue is tyre pressure, as the difference between a cold and a hot tyre is significant.

“At present,” he is quoted by Speed Week, “we believe that it will be difficult to implement the FIA’s plan for 2015.”

Formula 1′s governing body wants to get rid of expensive tyre warmers on cost grounds, but Hembery said safety is a consideration.

“We need to consider how the tyre behaves during, for example, a Safety Car period, when the pressures and temperatures fall,” he said.

Told, however, that other racing series cope without tyre blankets, Hembery responded: “Yes, as in GP2.

“But we are talking about different tyre sizes, and the pressure at the start is much higher.”

One possible solution is that, along with the warmer ban, Formula 1 simultaneously ditches its “old fashioned” tyre design and switches to a low-profile.

“If we had a lower profile tyre with a stiffer sidewall and a lower volume of air cavity, it would certainly be much easier to manage,” said Williams’ Pat Symonds.

But Mercedes‘ Paddy Lowe warned: “Introducing the low profile [tyre] is a very non-trivial task in terms of engineering and cost, so not an easy one.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.