Driving without tyre warmers “very difficult” – Nasr

2014 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Felipe Nasr said it was “very difficult” to get Pirelli’s development tyres up to temperature without the use of tyre warmers, as will be required by new rules.

With tyre warmers set to be banned next year, Pirelli produced new development tyres which the Williams test driver used in Bahrain today.

Nasr races in the GP2 series where tyre warmers are not permitted, but experienced difficulties getting heat into the 2015 tyres, which are at an early stage in development.

“Running a Formula One tyre when it hasn’t been in a blanket was one of the most interesting things as it’s very difficult to get them up to temperature, even in the Bahrain heat,” said Nasr.

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

A previous attempt to ban the use of tyre warmers in 2009 failed after concerns were raised by drivers.

2014 F1 season

Browse all 2014 F1 season articles

Image © Williams/LAT

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

34 comments on “Driving without tyre warmers “very difficult” – Nasr”

  1. I’m not too fazed by a manufacturer producing a tyre to be used without tyre warmers, I’m just worried about Pirelli producing that tyre.. Their tyres are notorious for having a small operating window, I just hope that doesn’t mean drivers can’t even get their tyres into the window.. I’m sure they’re doing their homework though and the tyres will be very different to previous years/this years and work perfectly.

    1. I’m certainly not a tire compound or construction expert, but does it make sense that a softer compound tire may get into the operating window quicker than a harder compound tire? Could that lead to excess degradation and didn’t F1 just distance itself from that problem?

      Please remind me, was cost savings the reason for doing away with tire warmers? If so, which costs more, tire warmers or a new chassis for a car over-driven on cold tires?

      I’m all for regs that increase the importance of driver skills, but the tire warmer ban could become a safety issue (again) and cost more than it saves.

      1. but the tire warmer ban could become a safety issue

        Don’t really see why.

        Indycar & most other racing categories manage fine without tyre warmers.

        Indycar in particular is worth looking at as it has similar overall power levels to F1 (More in the past when CART had over 900bhp), But with far less downforce/overall grip which would make driving on cold tyres even harder & the fact they have no tyre warmers does not cause any safety problems.

        F1 cars have more downforce & puts more loading through the tyres in the corners which should in theory see the tyres get upto a decent temperature far quicker than other categories & therefore make the tyre warmer ban less of an issue than in other series.

        1. Wasn’t Alex Zanardi’s crash related to cold tires?

      2. If cost saving was the cause, then I can’t imagine dropping the warmers is to save cost of manufacturing the blankets but rather the electricity costs.

    2. What I’m seeing is that everyone including Pirelli is trying to block that rule, as mentioned above Pirelli has experience with no tyre warmers.

    3. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      10th April 2014, 3:35

      They only have a small operating window because the FIA have instructed them to make them that way. If Pirelli were told to make a tyre that was quicker, and more durable than the 2010 Bridgestone option, then they’ve got the resource and capability to do that.

      They’re a more than competent company, and I’d gladly buy tires for my road car from them.

      People blame Pirelli, when in actual fact they should blame the FIA. So it’s a lose-lose situation for Pirelli, well atleast it was last year. Because they spend millions and millions of dollars manufacturing and designing these very complex pieces of rubber, only to have people go to their tyre supplier and say: “I’d like four new tyres please… Just not Pirelli’s.”

      TLDR: Don’t blame Pirelli, it’s the FIA you should be blaming.

      1. I completely agree with this. People need to realize that Pirelli aren’t at fault for the terrible performance of the tires.
        My opinion of tire warmers is this: It isn’t up to me. F1 needs to decide if it wants to be the peak of motorsport or a budget racing series. It simply cannot be both.

      2. They only have a small operating window because the FIA have instructed them to make them that way.

        Not actually true.

        The FIA only ever asked Pirelli to make tyres that couldn’t go half distance to force 2 or more pit stops, They never gave Pirelli any instructions on how to accomplish that.

        The compound/construction, how they wear/degrade, The speed they drop off, The performance differences between compounds, Operating windows etc… is all decided solely by Pirelli’s engineer’s with zero input from the FIA.

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          11th April 2014, 4:51

          Somehow I doubt that the FIA would just say to Pirelli, “Hey, just make some tyres that can’t do half the race.”, and then just leave it at that.

          They would’ve had far more input than that.

  2. What benefit does the banning of tyre warmers give in any sense? It’s utterly pointless and just an unneeded complication.

    1. @insilico, well, it saves money and energy, and it might actually be interesting to see drivers struggling on cold tyres on their first lap out of the pits. Indycar works fine that way. I do agree with @joetoml1n that this should not lead to drivers not getting their tyres ‘in the window’ at all, or only after a very long time.

      1. well, it saves money and energy – @adrianmorse

        Not according to pat symonds, who said during Bahrain GP t.p. press conference that it cost much more to use an F1 car to heat up the tires than to do so using tire warmers…

    2. I would like to know that, too. I believe it’s supposed to be for cost cutting, but really, how much could they save? Those are relatively cheap, re-usable pieces of equipment. It seems to me that it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

  3. Looking forward to seeing another element of driver skill re-introduced into f1.

    Pretty much every other racing category manages without tyre warmers so F1 should be no different. F1 itself also managed perfectly fine without tyre warmers upto the Mid-80s when there were initially brought it for the qualifying tyres & then extended to race tyres.

    Its interesting looking back how at the time the tyre suppliers were initially against the use of tyre warmers because they were unsure of the effect they would have on the tyres.
    Around 30 years on & some of the same concerns are now been raised to prevent the ban of tyre warmers.

    1. Good points.

    2. Yes, good points, by all the posters here, but I want an F1 that doesn’t model itself after other racing categories. I see posts above saying, “Indy Car this” and “Indy Car that” and that makes me want to say, good for Indy Car, but please keep Indy Car tendencies out of F1. Maybe I’ll change my mind when Ferrari and McLaren start racing Indy Cars?

      I believe F1 is at its best when it is leading the way in technology and regs – not when it’s copying the other categories using a grander financial scale.

      1. So why not go back to using them for qualification only, like how it was in the ’80’s? Or, better yet, get rid of the mandatory compound use rules, produce a qualy compound, and produce the equivalent of a hard and medium only in the future?

  4. Benefits of ban on tire warmers:-More laps in quali as drivers get need time to get temps up.
    -With more time needed for a lead up to a hot lap, if a driver makes a mistake they might not have time to do multiple hot laps. Best drivers moev to the top.
    -Race strategy is going to be fascinating as undercutting will be a gamble. So more drivers may stay on track longer and try to overtake on track (hopefully)
    – Makes races more unpredictable which we all know is great for viewers :)

    Drawbacks of ban on tire warmers:
    -More laps needed to bring a tire to temp in Q2 = fewer laps available during 1st stint in the race on that set of tires.

    I say toss the tire warmers, and toss the rule of using Q2 tires for 1st stint. But then again, what I say does not matter, because my first name isn’t Luca, or Bernie or Jean-Todt.

    1. Then we may as well go back to a single qualifying hour and the max 12 timed laps.

  5. Q1’s gonna get crowded and dangerous. 22 – or more – cars out on the track in the last few minutes, many of them either warming up or cooling down or harvesting or saving something for later… Anyway, they’re bimbling round slowly, and there’ll be a huge difference in speed between them and the drivers trying to get one last flying lap in.
    That session will be bad enough at Monaco this year – I’ll be relieved when everyone gets through that in one piece.

    1. the same arguments were made in 2010 when the 3 new teams joined, people saying qualifying would be more dangerous. there was even talk of splitting q1 in monaco.

      yet there was no additional safety problems brought about by the 3 new teams.

  6. I thought the tyre warmers were introduced for safety.

    1. Wrong, They were introduced back in the 80’s for performance reasons.

      When they were starting to run qualifying tyres every lap on them counted because of there limited life so teams started to use heaters to warm the tyres to get the best performance out of them as quickly as possible.

      Anyone who watches the GP2 qualifying will know that they often need to do 1 or 2 warm-up laps before starting there qualifying laps in order to build heat into the tyres. Back when F1 had qualifying tyres, The extra lap or 2 required to warm the tyres took life & therefore performance out of them so they started using warmers to reduce the time needed to be able to start the hot lap.

      If you want to go back a bit further, McLaren were the 1st team to try pre-heating the tyres during a particularly cold weekend at a Canadian Gp in the early 70s. Believe they nicked some electric heated blankets from the hotel the mechanics were staying in.

      The Tyre blankets like we have today were invented by a guy called Mike Drury in 1985 & were 1st run at I think the Nurburgring.

      Incidentally the same race that a live in-car camera was 1st run on an f1 car, Renault were allowed to enter a 3rd car for Francois Hesnault for the sole purpose of testing the camera. That Thomson camera would be used until 1988, For 1989 the small units in aerodynamic housings similar to what we have today were introduced.

  7. I was gonna say does anybody have a list of series that have tire warmer bans, but I think the better question is what major series still allow tire warmers?

    As far as I’m aware all major US based series have them banned (not sure if they’re officially banned in NASCAR or not but nobody uses them so they probably are), I think they’re banned in the Aussie V8Supercars also.

  8. Gonna miss the thrill of final lap runs, but I do like the added challenge for drivers.

  9. What i would like to see personally, is the return of quali tyres, then drop the rules saying you need to start on the tyre you qualified on and the one that makes a team run both compounds. Let them have the blanket for the qualifying tyre but not during the race.

    We will see cars preforming at there ultimate in qualifying and another factor for the driver to show his skills in the race.

  10. as much as I love Button, he cant be looking forward to this rule change :-(

    1. Haha “No heat in the tyres guys”

  11. A previous attempt to ban the use of tyre warmers in 2009 failed after concerns were raised by drivers.

    if it is as difficult to warm the tyres up as Nasr is making out, this will probably happen again.

  12. I would have thought driving with tyre warmers on would be harder than without. :-)

    1. LOL! that’s a tricky one.

  13. Off late FIA has been trying to spice racing up as there were too many processions when all was close to perfect and fans got bored. By creating new rules it does help with mistakes made which can change a race attracting more attention?

  14. Im too much agree for this. Of course Nasr says its difficult and to me this is great and welcome.
    In generally i applause rule schanges that makes the F1 more Driver than Mashince thing, also can you imagine the Power needs that a track consumes for the blankets? imagine in race 10 teams X 4 sets at leasts on heat X 4 tyres = 160 tyres on Heat X how much? 500watt at least per tyre = 80KW/hour???? its huge power consumption and if F1 wanna go greener as did with the PU’s then this is the way for this.

Comments are closed.