F1: Tire-warmer ban for 2015 now in doubt

From GMM

The plan to ban tire warmers in 2015 is currently in doubt.

This week at the Bahrain test, after Williams test driver Felipe Nasr tried an experimental Pirelli tire, 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 the main issue is tire pressure, as the difference between a cold and a hot tire is significant.

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

F1 Pirelli tires blankets

Tires warming-up in the stand. (Photo: WRi2)

F1′s governing body wants to get rid of expensive tire warmers on cost grounds, but Hembery said safety is a consideration.

“We need to consider how the tire behaves during, for example, a safety car period, when the pressures and temperatures fall,” he said.

Told, however, that other racing series cope without tire blankets, Hembery responded: “Yes, as in GP2. But we are talking about different tire sizes, and the pressure at the start is much higher.”

One possible solution is that, along with the warmer ban, F1 simultaneously ditches its “old fashioned” tire design and switch to a low-profile.

“If we had a lower profile tire 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 (tire) is a very non-trivial task in terms of engineering and cost, so not an easy one.”

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