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Leading F1 stars send warning to FIA over proposed rule change as 'crashes' claim made

Ryan Smart

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Leading F1 stars send warning to FIA over proposed rule change as 'crashes' claim made

Leading F1 drivers have sent a warning to the FIA over a proposed change to the regulations surrounding tyre blankets.

Tyre blankets are a vital component in F1, as they keep the tyres warm before being fitted on to the car.

They are particularly important in cooler conditions, as they retain heat in the tyre and allow it to have more grip on the circuit itself.

The ability to warm up your tyres quickly - and keeping them at an optimal temperature - can be the difference between winning a race or finishing further down the field.

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However, the FIA have placed a limit in recent years on what temperature the tyre blankets can reach, and how long they can be used for before a car goes out on track.

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And F1's tyre supplier, Pirelli, has been developing several tyre compounds that will not require the use of blankets, with chiefs contemplating banning them altogether.

As is traditional with any new tyre compound, drivers have tested the proposed tyres on track at 'test events' and during race weekends. The switch to the new compound is only planned at this stage, with a vote due to be held next month on whether to use them moving forwards.

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However, leading stars such as Fernando Alonso and George Russell have voiced their concerns.

F1 drivers concerned over tyre blanket ban

Speaking during a press conference ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend, Russell warned (quotes via Daily Mirror): "If I'm being totally honest, I don't think we, as a sport, are at a position yet to bring these tyres into a racing scenario.

"I would be very concerned for all the mechanics in the pit lane during a pit stop. I'd be very concerned for the out lap from a race.

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"In cold conditions there will be crashes, I have no doubt about it.

"And I think there's a lot of work and expensive development going into these tyres, I feel like that could be put elsewhere."

Alonso echoed Russell's thoughts, stating that he didn't understand why there needed to be a ban on tyre blankets.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, meanwhile, said there was still a 'question mark' over the suitability of the new compounds in cold conditions, and wants to carry out further tests.

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In response to Russell's comments, Pirelli chief engineer Simone Berra told The Race: "We consider the tyre raceable because otherwise we would not have proposed it for the evaluation.

"Yes they are raceable. The first sector could be tricky but apart from that it's OK.

"Obviously drivers need to think about the fact that not using the blankets is different than today, so they need to approach the out lap in a different way."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy / Xavi Bonilla / DPPI / AP Photo

Topics: Formula 1, George Russell, Mercedes, Fernando Alonso, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

Ryan Smart
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