FIA introduces new tyre pressure checks and forbids blanket practice Hamilton spotted

2021 F1 season

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F1 teams will face extensive new restrictions and checks of tyre pressures and temperatures from the next race following the failures which led to two crashes during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

New guidance issued by the FIA today also warns teams against using one tactic Lewis Hamilton accused Red Bull of practising at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The sport’s official tyre supplier Pirelli stated today the failures which Red Bull driver Max Verstappen and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll suffered in Baku did not arise due to defects in the tyres or misuse by their teams. However it stated an updated technical directive would be issued to lay down new guidelines on how teams must treat their tyres.

RaceFans understands the revised and expanded directive TD003, which will come into force for this weekend’s French Grand Prix, runs to more than a dozen pages following the latest additions. It forbids various practices by teams and defines a series of new tests of tyre pressure and temperature.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monaco, 2021
Report: Row between Mercedes and Red Bull escalates over front wings and tyre blankets
Violation of these restrictions may lead to a team being reported to the stewards. Teams have been told that, as tyre pressures cannot currently be measured reliably during races, it is their responsibility to ensure they remain within the limits set by Pirelli at all times – including during races – and failure to do so will lead to them being reported to the stewards.

The revised directive is intended partly to prevent teams reducing their tyre pressures to gain a performance advantage. The existing checks on pressures have been reinforced, as have guidelines forbidding teams from cooling their tyres after their minimum starting pressures have been checked.

Among the additions, teams have been told delaying the departure of their cars from the pits after their tyre blankets have been removed will be considered a means of cooling their tyres. Any frequent occurrences of this, or delays lasting more than half a minute, will need to be justified by the team involved.

Hamilton accused Red Bull of this practice during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. “If you look at the last race, for example, we were supposed to all keep our blankets on in qualifying,” he said. “Red Bull were allowed to take theirs off. And no one else is allowed to.”

The tyre blankets were removed from Verstappen’s car before his final run in Q3 at the Circuit de Catalunya over 30 seconds before he was lowered to the ground to leave the pits.

In response to Pirelli’s explanation for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix failures issued today, Red Bull stated it had “adhered to Pirelli’s tyre parameters at all times”.

This is not the only practice forbidden under the sweeping new technical directive. Any team whose tyres are found to be under-inflated may be required to increase the pressures and, in serious cases, reported to the stewards. Prior to the start of the race, any car which fails the checks after the three-minute signal is given will have to start from the pits.

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Cold pressure checks will be conducted on the tyres each driver uses to set their quickest lap time in the last segment of qualifying they reach, plus all tyres used in races and Sprint Qualifying sessions, and selected other sets. Tyres will be judged against a ‘cold cooling curve’ specified by Pirelli which will detail what their pressure should be at different temperatures.

For the purpose of cold pressure checks, teams will have to supply their own seal-able valve covers by July 12th. Prior to then FIA-supplied seals will be used. Until that date, any team found to have a tyre pressure significantly below the level specified by the cooling curve will be reported to the stewards. After July 12th any teams which are 0.1psi under the level will be reported.

Teams have also been told they may not alter the composition of the gas within the tyres, including its moisture content, to achieve different pressure levels when its cars are running on track. This will also be policed using the cooling curve.

The FIA will also measure tyre temperatures in garages during qualifying and the race. This will be done as soon as possible prior to them being fitted to the car, with the caveat that the inspectors will not delay teams if they need to perform a pit stop at short notice due to a Safety Car period.

Any tyres which are found to be too hot must either have their settings adjusted in the blankets to meet the correct temperature or be replaced. Teams will also be reported to the stewards if they repeatedly heat tyres during sessions but do not run them on their cars.

The tyre pressure checks will be carried out using a gauge which is sealed by the FIA and calibrated by Pirelli. Temperature measurements will be taken using an infra-red gun.

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166 comments on “FIA introduces new tyre pressure checks and forbids blanket practice Hamilton spotted”

  1. I’ve no interest in being pointlessly dramatic about tyres, but when your tyres are peaky, wear quickly, can’t be pushed to the limit for more than one lap, drop off a cliff in performance when overused, AND require a twelve page document telling you how you can and can’t use them to stop them exploding during the race then maybe you’re making terrible tyres.

    1. Well, Pirelli will say that with the increasingly tight testing schedule, and limits by teams on what the company is able to change, their hands are tied, limiting to either increasing pressures, or ensuring the pressures remain high enough with these extra rules @bookgrub

      But yeah, I am sure that their competition will think they could do better.

    2. @bookgrub Well said. These tires are way way too finicky. Never has there been more of a reason for them to make tread wear tires for next year, or Pirelli risks throwing out the window all the hard work the teams and Brawn have done to make cars/drivers able to race closely. F1 wants to become more about driver vs driver, and the drivers and we the fans deserve that, and who wants to watch F1 be about the art of getting poor tires to work, only to have them explode anyway?

      1. Never fear @robbie, Pirelli will work with the FIA to introduce mandatory red flag periods so they can check their tyres.

        I’m joking of course, but I can’t even imagine how Pirelli think they can enforce their “101 things you’re not allowed to do on our tyres” document.

        I certainly share your concerns that their tyres could scupper all the good work Brawns team has done in bringing about new chassis regulations.

        1. @dbradock I’m hopeful that common sense will prevail, but moreso I am hopeful that simply by the very nature of the low profile 18” tires, the very physics of them, they will be much different than currently. I can’t see them being anywhere near as thermally degrady, at least not in the same manner, but it will certainly be very sad if they somehow manage to make them as bad as today’s tires are. Would just be very surprised since they’re so different.

          As well though, for I’m no tire expert, if they are somehow still engineered to be a headache for the teams and drivers, it is my hope that the very nature of the cars means they’ll, for example, move a lot less while trailing a car, and thus do less harm to the front tires or their temps, and leave the trailing driver confident to continue trailing closely and having the tires under him to attempt passes. That’s all Brawn wants, as do I. Pass attempts, not passes for the sake of numbers of them, and the art of defending. Without ruining tires doing so.

          So far from what little I have been able to glean the drivers seem positive about the 18” tires. Not saying they’ve raved about them necessarily, but they seem to claim promise in them, again from what little I’ve picked up on.

          1. @robbie I agree there “should” be a much better chance of more consistency in tyre performance given downforce should be more consistent.

            I just hope Pirelli haven’t been given a brief to do more with thermal degrading to counter the overheating issue that currently rips them apart to ensure that tyre management remains a major part of the race.

            As for the tyre size – I, like you, don’t care as long as the new cars and tyres allow for racing exactly as you’ve described above. The cars “should” – lets hope the tyres do as well, and if they don’t let’s hope they’re made to react quickly to fix it.

    3. As I understand it, Pirelli are making tires to an impossible specification set out by F1/FIA. They want tires that have specific characteristics in terms of grip levels, drop-off etc. I’m not saying Pirelli are doing a terrific job, but they are not to blame for everything that is wrong with the tires.

      1. Robert my understanding is that they were asked to make degrady tires but that it would be preferred if they made them tread wear tires rather than thermal wear tires. Problem is tread wear tires are more predictable and less the story of F1 and therefore less impactful from a marketing standpoint for Pirelli. Stable good tires get much less mention than difficult tires, and even though that seems counterintuitive, like it would make for bad press, Pirelli simply puts it on the teams to use their tires within the parameters and then claim ‘no problems’ we’re just doing as we’re asked. We all know there are far better tires to race on and Pirelli and all other makers are well capable of doing so.

        I don’t disagree with degrady tires and average two pit stops at races, but they need to make them proper tires that degrade by tread wear and that are far far less finicky, and if that takes a second manufacturer coming in so that tires still get talked about and the marketing impact remains intact for the two makers, so be it as far as I’m concerned.

      2. Robert,
        How about the wet weather tyres. Who told them to produce such rubbish rubber ?

        1. At least we haven’t seen those explode yet, or maybe my memory is off? The inters even seem to perform quite well in the dry once the tread has been worn down…

          1. Robert,
            You’re bringing the fact that the wet weather tyres (inters) work well in dry conditions which is not the purpose because they should perform well in wet conditions but they are not, they are quite rubbish in rain. The drivers can barely keep it on the track, that’s why they don’t explode. The thing is the FIA has always helped Pirelli by intervening whenever the conditions are very wet (delay the start, start under safety car, red flag…) under safety concerns because they know that the provided tyres cannot handle such conditions.

    4. @bookgrub – Spot on. I’d rather have part-worn, mis-matched tyres from companies I’ve never heard of on my car than Pirellis. I can’t understand why they are putting so much time and effort into something that is absolutely destroying their brand.

      1. @petebaldwin But there’s the rub. Their explody F1 tires are not new, and yet they continue to spend hundreds of millions to be a major sponsor of F1 and have their logo splashed all over tracks around the world. It works for them as long as people are talking about tires and seeing their logo everywhere. Or they would have pulled out by now.

        1. Well, they win every race and soon will be the most successful tyre company in the history of the sport.

    5. Pirelli does not come up with these designs in a vacuum. They have the unenviable position of being mandated to provide a tire that degrades because thats the only thing that brings strategy into a race. You cant fault them for tires that do exactly what they are designed to do.

      1. First of all, they were not “mandated” to do so. Pirelli themselves introduced the idea of a faster degrading tyre during their initial tender. This Pirelli proposal was accepted by the FIA yes, but not set out as a requirement beforehand.

        Moreover, none of the characteristics mentioned by bookgrub are part of the concept of faster degrading tyres.

        1. Keith Crossley
          16th June 2021, 18:30

          Pirelli themselves introduced the idea of a faster degrading tyre during their initial tender

          Didn’t know that. I was firmly of the belief it was a Bernie idea.

      2. The tyres may degrade and lose speed, but they should not routinely fail. This has been an issue with Pirelli from the start, and every time it happens they come up with new reasons/excuses why it’s not their fault. This has become such a predictable situation that Max Verstappen outright said he wasn’t really interested in what Pirelli would say after their (brief) investigation.

        The F1 teams have already gone above and beyond what other series do to help Pirelli avoid these incidents by running excessive pressures, compromised strategies on account of Pirelli’s odd ‘pitstop guidelines’, slow the cars down, and more.

        Pirelli is a supplier of a standard component. Such a component of the car should never have such a huge role in both performance or the discussions about the series. It’s time the FIA stops this, listens to the likes of Hülkenberg, Alonso and Webber, and adopts a tyre strategy similar to the one used in the WEC. That is, a high performance tyre that can be pushed for hours (!), has a wide operating window and rarely if ever randomly fails.

    6. @bookgrub I’m optimistic in that these rules are an attempt to find out what exactly is the cause, so it can be fixed in future seasons (effectively by making the races an improvised lab environment). Whether by Pirelli doing something better in its tyre construction, or by forcing the FIA to alter its design document to allow a fix Pirelli knows will work but cannot currently demand due to contracts.

    7. It’s always been the case in F1, the only difference is more people talk about it now. Drivers have always had to protect their tyres

      Reply moderated
    8. GadgetWhisperer
      16th June 2021, 16:56

      problem is, tire makers are specifically asked to design tire that won’t last whole race, just so that they can get more entertainment by doing pit stop. It’s harder to design thing that suppose to break after unfixed certain laps instead of designing one that can last whole race. They were asked to design something marginal.

      Reply moderated
    9. Ian O'Reilly
      16th June 2021, 22:27

      This whole thing is non sense. Perilli are trying to shift the blame onto the teams. The problem is they brought to soft a compound… Perilli got it right last year, but messed up this year… please stop boring us with stupid tyre regulations…

      Reply moderated
  2. Apart from football, I can’t think offhand of another sport where so much what is effectively cheating takes place

    1. American baseball is 100% cheating. The pitchers doctor the baseballs. The batters “modify” their bats and steal the signals between the pitcher and catcher so they know what the next pitch is. The irony is that everyone is cheating but then everyone gets upset if a player breaks an unwritten rule like showing up a pitcher by watching their hit fly over the stadium wall. So you can break actual rules but not the unwritten ones. Total farce.

      We can’t include American basketball because the league just throws out the rule book and doesn’t enforce any rules except what shoes the players can wear.

      1. We can’t include American basketball because the league just throws out the rule book and doesn’t enforce any rules except what shoes the players can wear.

        I take it the mandated shoes is because of them being provided by a league sponsor, right @jimfromus?

    2. Cycling… You can throw away the top ten of past 10s of years of tour de France due to doping.

      1. Only the last ten years?

        1. Coventry Climax
          16th June 2021, 12:55

          Only Tour de France?

      2. Cycling is an odd case; it was one of the firsts sports to be serious about performance enhancing drugs, which had the unintended effect of now being so linked together that the sport itself has become hard to take serious (never mind the fact that all but a few of the big tour stages end with the main contenders all setting the exact same time). But there’s very little chance that only cyclists have used these or other performance enhancing drugs. There are after all plenty of other sports that reward physical endurance.

        1. @cashnotclass

          The same doctors that are known to have doped cyclists have worked with tennis players & national and domestic football/soccer teams, yet that never went anywhere. During a court case, the blood bags of cyclists were released to be tested, but not those of other sports. Seems like they have better cover up skills.

          We also know that the ATP and WTA allowed players to escape sanction if they came up with a barely believable explanation. Agassi admitted to lying to the ATP after a positive doping test and getting away with it. Serena Williams ran away from a doping tester to hide in her panic room at home and got away with it.

          In running, they simply threw out a whole lot of records because modern clean or cleaner athletes couldn’t achieve anything close to those times anymore.

    3. Chris.,
      Have you ever heard of the sport of boxing ?

      1. @tifoso1989 Boxing is the absolute worst!

        It’s not minor technical infringements of a 3000 page rulebook either. It’s “my fighter will not lose a round until at least the 8th”, “this fighter will not lose by TKO, even if we throw in the towel”.

        Also, the Tour is based on doping. Without it it probably wouldn’t exist.

        1. @alec-glen
          Exactly, I can’t think of a more corrupt sport than boxing and I have been following closely many sports since a very young age (Football, F1, MotoGP, Tennis, Basketball, American Football, Boxing…). Whenever I think of Boxing, I can bring you countless examples in almost every year for the last 25 years of fights that were fixed, of scandalous refree behaviours, of athletes that were robbed and others that cheated… It’s just unbelievable at all levels.

          Also, the Tour is based on doping. Without it it probably wouldn’t exist.

          I can think of the popular use of the Clenbuterol around Mexican fighters then they say when they’re caught (Canelo) that it was due to due to tainted meat.

          I still cannot believe how Evander Holyfield (Vander Field or Holyroid…) was never disqualified for his headbutts (the one against Rahman was absolutely disgraceful) or for the fact that he has been juicing since he first moved up to heavyweight. He gained 20 lbs of pure muscle ,with the help of Lee Haney (are you kidding me), in a matter of 5 weeks (right around the same time he started losing his hair). His entire career post-cruiserweight is illegitimate.

          “my fighter will not lose a round until at least the 8th”

          I have seen this happening many times in world championship fights :
          Foreman vs Briggs
          Mayweather vs Castillo 1
          Pacquiao vs Marquez 1
          Canelo vs Mayweather
          Canelo vs GGG 1&2

          It’s just like Hamilton winning the race by 30 seconds and then you have someone manipulating the timing system and relegate him to 3rd position without any reason and with no possibility of appeal. That’s the kind of stuff that is happening in the sport of boxing.

          1. Keith Crossley
            16th June 2021, 18:34

            Wasn’t it 25 seconds?

    4. Lots of sports have people trying to get round the rules. F1 has simply turned it into a fine art, whereas other sports seem to have gone down either the “all science, no style” route (often due to there being fewer rules to subvert) or “forget subtlety, just “ram the rules until they yield a result”.

  3. Wow… More rules and guidelines, and possibly impossible to understand penalties. For something that could be avoided by banning blankets… which would probably make for better racing as well.

    1. Blankets can’t be banned at this point due to safety issues (note that one of the things being controlled is the tyres being too cold on release from the pits, something banning tyre blankets would make worse).

  4. This is getting truly ridiculous.

  5. I thought using tire blankets was an advantage…

    1. The advantage from running lower pressures when the tyre is hot is probably worth more time. The tyres can be heated anyway with a fast out lap or double out laps.

    2. @ricod

      In qualifying things get weird. I think they are trying to minimize the wheels air (nitrogen) temperature while keeping the tire surface hot.

      Since the tires have more mass now they can absorb more heat. They can heat the surface of the tire during warm up, but get their lap in before internal air temps rise, along with the pressures.

      It could also be a simple as cooler tires worked better under the conditions in Monaco.

  6. All this tyre nonsense would be solved by bringing back race refuelling.

    1. @emu55 I don’t understand what is so attractive about refuelling. I’m a new fan (since 2017) and rewatching older races it just gets unnecessarily confusing and dangerous. Like you would get to see someone overtake another car only to realise it’s meaningless when they have to pit 2 laps later.

      1. Agreed @randommallard. And let’s not forget so many accidents involving fire.

      2. The accidents occurred most due to exotic equipments and hidden changes made by the teams. I would be in favour though of standardised refuelling equipment that costs less at the expense of a slower fill rate resulting in two stops a race.

        I would rather prefer the 50-60 laps of racing in qualifying trim and take the kind of meaningless overtake you have mentioned as it is no worse than the tyre condition enforced overtakes we have now, in addition to meaningless DRS passes.

        1. @f1g33k The refuelling equipment was standardised throughout the 2000s yet e still saw many accidents. Sure the teams may have made some dodgy changes to it but whose to say they wouldn’t do it again?

        2. Now that the cars have the ability to self-start, it would not be unrealistic to require that the cars are not running during the pit stop similar to IMSA. Add to this a requirement to use all 3 sets of tires in a dry race and your options will become wild and varied…. start light on the soft tire and tear through the field… start on the hard and heavy and drive, drive, drive hoping for a SC.

          Reply moderated
      3. @randommallard Refueling changes the game in fundamental ways. It makes everything much faster, because the cars aren’t carrying around 100kg of fuel they’ll only end up using an hour and a half later. One of the things that the higher pace of race with refueling leads to is driver mistakes. Drivers today are driving very controlled races, often many seconds off their qualifying pace.

    2. @emu55 I’m not in favor of in-race refuelling. Detrimental to on-track overtaking, limited strategic options, etc.

      1. Limited strategic options with refuelling?
        Are you serious?

        1. Seems difficult to go long when low on fuel.
          So in that sense yes, less strategic options.

          1. Who says they can’t go long with refuelling?
            That’s a strategic option, as is doing 5 stints on light fuel loads – or anything in between and any mixture thereof.

          2. Who says they can’t go long with refuelling?

            You seem to have missed what I wrote (it’s just above your comment).
            “when low on fuel”

            A big plus in strategic options is to be able to change your plans during the race.

          3. Well, yes, you could start with a light fuel load and limit your pitstop timing window, but that is only one of the plethora of options available.
            You could also start heavy and have all the options in the world – but you’d be slower than the cars with less fuel.
            The more variables there are, the more adaptable each competitor can be, and the more risks they can take. Races don’t need to be single-file, DRS train, processions.
            Think Magny-Cours 2004. Sure, that 4-stop strategy didn’t happen very often, but the fact is that it could and did happen. It simply can’t without refuelling.

            If you can’t see that refuelling adds far more depth to strategy, then it’s only because you don’t want to see it.
            That’s your choice.

          4. Steven Flatman
            16th June 2021, 22:41

            Drivers used to go long by putting more fuel in. Adjusting the amount of fuel in the car at the race start was an added strategy factor, not something that reduced strategy options.

            Almost all of the accidents are easy to prevent by standardising the fuel rig and port and introducing a blanket ban on ANY modifications, this is where almost all the issues came from, teams fiddling with the rig to fuel faster, albeit with FIA permission.

          5. S, apart from the fact that we have also had multiple former and current engineers within the sport also explicitly state that refuelling normally did reduce strategic variability.

            Yes, in theory you could run a 4 stop strategy like Ferrari did at Magny-Cours in 2004 – but that is only famous because it was so abnormal. That then creates a significant selection bias in your mind – you remember that and thus give it an overwhelming importance in your mind, but blank out the standard 1 or 2 stop races because the human mind tends to blank out those regular repeating patterns.

            In reality, the teams confirmed that, at most venues, there was usually only one or two fairly obvious strategies that they would tend to copy, because there usually are only one or two optimal ways of running a race. The sort of divergence you talk about was far less common in practice because the teams worked out that there was a fairly narrow band of laps during which it was best to pit based on how long a pit stop would take and the change in lap time per unit of fuel added – you can run the models in a spreadsheet yourself if you want.

            Furthermore, the offset in pace due to the fuel load meant that it usually became very obvious at the start of the race what strategy a driver was going for. With most engines having a fairly similar fuel burn rate (around 65L/100km in that era) and a fixed fuel flow rate of 12L/second, you’d just need a stopwatch to time the time the fuel hose was on for and a simple spreadsheet or a calculator to work out within moments what strategy that driver was doing.

            To give an example, if a driver at the 2004 Spanish GP, given you’ve picked the 2004 season, was fuelled for 5.0s in a pit stop, you know they must have taken on 60L of fuel. For a lap that is 4.63km long and a fuel burn rate of 65L/100km, you know that driver has just taken on 20 laps worth of fuel in that stop. Because it forms a hard constraint on when a driver has to pit again, and since the driver will then run that stint length because teams would rarely put any more fuel in than was required, those additional constraints meant that it actually tended to reduce the number of variables overall.

    3. @emu55 No it wouldn’t – refuelling stints in the past can and have been longer than 31 laps. Tyre technology and refuelling are independent of one another.

    4. @emu55 The racing would be far worse with refueling just as it was the last time when on-track overtaking dropped massively in 1994 & stayed low until refueling was banned in 2010 when the amount of overtaking shot back up to where they had been in 1993.

      Refueling was awful for the racing, It was awful to watch & it was strategy decided on Saturday with no room to alter it.

      When strategy is just about tires drivers have far more input, It’s far more reactive & it gives teams more options to change & adapt strategy on the fly which is something you simply can’t really do with refueling.

      1. Absolutely, 100% disagree.
        F1 has poor racing primarily because of the cars, aero and the team approach with so much data and telemetry.

        F1 is decided on Saturday more now than it ever was during the refuelling years.
        Other than car performance being the primary factor, of course – which it always has been in F1.

      2. 2010 saw a big uptick in overtaking for a number of reasons. The extra six (but very slow) cars from teams lured in on the false promise of a budget gap alone lead to many more overtakes. Then from 2011 F1 adopted the ‘temporary’ DRS, which made overtakes all but meaningless.

    5. Refuelling is not an answer and makes for poor racing not better.

      We need tyres that will last the whole race, flat out regardless of compound and keeping the 2 compound rule to ensure a stop. To stop them going near to the end without changing tyres, use a pit window preventing tyre changes between the start and the 1/3rd race distance and 2/3rds and the end.

      1. Steven Flatman
        16th June 2021, 22:46

        If you ban pit-stops during the first 1/3 and 3/3 of the race, what do drivers who get a puncture or front spoiler damage do? Retire? That will do wonders for racing with even a simple puncture or losing a front wing causing a retirement! The epic recovery drive will become a thing of the past!

        Reply moderated
  7. It seems that a lot of things would get simpler if tyre blankets were banned. That way, the only way to manipulate tyre pressures and temperatures will be with the driver’s hands and feet — and the pressures and temps can only go up from their baseline checks at rest.

    Of course, that would mean Pirelli being capable of designing such a tyre, and F1 and teams being willing to do the testing for it. It seems like quite a shame that the sport missed the opportunity to do so for the 2022 rules (no thanks to the GPDA, either).

    1. The negative of that is that with cars coming out of the pits on cold tyres, it would eradicate any chance of an undercut from the car behind. Also that would make the car in front have to stay out longer than they maybe deem safe, just to avoid losing a position to a car behind because of the slow out lap… not sure it’s the best solution!

      1. So what’s wrong with eliminating the undercut? Passing by pitting seems so artifical, just like DRS.

        Reply moderated
      2. Terms like “undercut” and “overcut” get used way too often and it’s just laughable these days – “this driver is using the undercut to great effect”, “this driver is using the overcut to great effect”(in the same race).
        TLDR:
        There is a strategic advantage to the undercut, but there isn’t because there is a strategic advantage to the overcut, but there can’t be because the undercut is a strategic advantage, even though the undercut can’t be a strategic advantage because the overcut is, so pitting at the same time must be a strategic advantage, even though it can’t be because the undercut and overcut are”.

        undercut

        Reply moderated
      3. Coventry Climax
        16th June 2021, 13:04

        That’s utter nonsense. It’s not that only the car undercutting or overcutting has cold tyres on pit exit.
        That strategic option is unchanged by banning tyre blankets.

      4. All cars will have cold tyres when leaving the pits, so that’s not something only the undercutting driver will have to deal with. In Indycar it can still be an advantage to pit early, build up the temperature of the tyres, and then attempt a pass when the other car makes a later stop and comes out on their new tyres.

    2. Indeed. Wasn’t that also something that was supposed to happen for next year together with the change to the larger rims @markzastrow? Shame it did not make it out of the rounds.

      1. @bascb Yeah, exactly. Last I can recall, Pirelli and the FIA said they were still planning to phase tyre blankets out after the new rules came into effect, but I don’t remember if there were any updates reported after that.

    3. @markzastrow The GPDA did what they did because they had no confidence in Pirelli’s ability to design a tyre compatible with tyre blankets. While Pirelli’s still required to follow a badly-considered tyre specification document by the FIA, I’m apt to agree with them. When the FIA decides to be less demanding on what performance results the tyres it receives has, then I would be willing to give Pirelli the chance to try your idea of non-blanketed tyres.

      1. @alianora-la-canta

        The GPDA did what they did because they had no confidence in Pirelli’s ability to design a tyre compatible with tyre blankets.

        I think you meant “with no tyre blankets,” but the funny thing is, it works either way… ;)

        I agree, it will require heavy lifting from all parties. Seems worth the trouble, though I understand why it hasn’t yet been done.

        I do wonder though whether Pirelli are as powerless in this situation as we think, since surely they have some say in what the FIA’s specifications will be; the FIA acknowledges their feedback every time they release them. It seems both sides have incentives not to depart too much from the status quo. If given more freedom, Pirelli would have to spend more to design more bespoke tyres. As it is, they can always say they’ve done their best given the requirements they’ve been given.

        1. @markzastrow Good spot! :D

          Pirelli only gets to help edit the document directly at contract negotiation time, and then only to the extent that the FIA lets them negotiate. Otherwise, they can give feedback but cannot guarantee the FIA will do anything in particular with it, unless it suits their plans. (Of course, if they do this right, the FIA should be persuaded to change the document on their own initiative, something the FIA can do whenever it pleases, provided Pirelli consents…)

  8. Next thing will be like: teams can’t get any faster or they’ll be reported to the stewards.

  9. Tactics here and there…I don’t talk tactics.

  10. Things like this are why I don’t resent Mercedes for taking the championships every year

    There’s finding the grey areas of the rules (DAS) and then there’s finding ways of not getting caught breaking the rules. It’s all the more satisfying that Red Bull and Ferrari still can’t win when they do the latter

    1. it’s not a given that Redbull is breaking any rules or that Mercedes didn’t break any

      both are not found guilty

      Ferrari also wasn’t found guilty but their drop in engine performance speeks for itself

  11. Merc has been suspected of a few of these tricks for years. I wonder who will lose out the most. Hopefully it’s even across the front runners. Will be sad if rule changes decide the championship.

  12. So in qualifying when they all queue at the end of the pitlane for a minute waiting for the green light, I’d that now cheating too, cos the tyres can cool?

    1. @eurobrun Probably not because the cars are probably classed as ‘running’ by that point

      1. @randommallard Technically, cars are only classed as running after they’ve crossed the pit exit line. So that trick will not work.

        I hope some allowance is made for reasonable queuing behind a red pit lane light (30 seconds or less in situations where the time the light will go green is known?) is put into place, otherwise that’s an obvious place where people will be sent to the stewards for continuing common behaviour in qualifying.

    2. We will possibly see more cars there now even earlier then, right @eurobrun, @randomallard

      1. sorry, misspelled at first @randommallard

        – also, since teams now are to be held responsible for keeping tyre at the right level at all times that would mean that Pirelli/the FIA would be able to get access to the info from the tyre temp sensors and check whether the tyres were within the temp ranges Pirelli set out in that document

        1. @bascb Firstly, don’t worry about the spelling. I get other people’s wrong all the time as well!

          Regarding your other questions, I’m not sure at the moment. The article only explicitly states (from my interpretation) the teams are responsible at all times for the pressures, and are responsible for the tyre temperatures when they are in the blankets, but not out on track. This is probably the right move, because otherwise the FIA risk making the teams responsible for the weather if the track temperature suddenly increases during a stint.

  13. Let’s see if I’ve got this right –
    “In each case, this was down to a circumferential break on the inner sidewall…” meaning that the tire came apart “which can be related to the running conditions of the tyre” meaning that the tires selected for the race could not hold together during the race “in spite of the prescribed starting parameters having been followed” meaning that the rules and guidelines were followed. Sounds like pure bureaucratic speak for “We, Pirelli, failed to deliver the goods.”

    Only an endless discussion of an F1 car’s rear-view mirrors could be more boring than this droning on about rubber casings. So how did Pireli (sic) high-jack F1 anyway, because I agree with Robbie and his version of “I don’t care what you say, just spell my name right.”

    Reply moderated
    1. DoubleBridges
      16th June 2021, 14:48

      This. This, all day long. The tires let go at the edge of the sidewall, which has nothing to do with the tread, or how fast or slow that tread degrades. Tires are not made of one contiguous material. Aero regs were changed because they were supposedly not going to be able to produce a new tire to compensate for improved performance. Then, they made a new tire anyways. So, with reduced aero AND “improved” tires, they’re still not holding up in race conditions.

      Reply moderated
    2. In some ways Pirelli did not so much hijack F1, as save it. The FIA under Mosley effectively bullied Michelin out of the sport, and when Bridgestone decided F1 was no longer worth the significant investment it left F1 scrambling to find someone willing to supply the series.

      That doesn’t excuse the frequent problems with their tyres, but it does explain to some degree why F1 and the FIA are willing to put up with a lot of Pirelli’s issues.

  14. With all these regulations we’ll so be having more scrutineers than spectators at race weekends.

  15. Not to be funny but couldn’t teams just not switch on the tyre warmers to begin with as well? Will there be a steward monitoring that for each driver?? It’s all getting a bit ridiculous. Does any F1 fan enjoy all this? The main news should be about the fight for the championship, not tyre nonsense.

    1. Without warming the tyres, a car would be at a real disadvantage on starts or take 2-3 laps to build up temperature after a pit stop, making the car a sitting duck.

      At the British Grand Prix, there is a scrutineer per team whose job it is to check compliance on the tyres: scan barcodes, ensure sets are returned to Pirelli, that sort of thing. I can’t speak of the other events as I’ve only worked here in the UK.

      1. @gardenfella72 It is every race of the season, and has been since at least 2003, because F1 Magazine mentioned it in a tyre feature in its November 2003 edition.

    2. I am actually quite sure that is already monitored after the last time we had teams trying to underpressure the tyres a couple of years back, yeah @davidhunter13 – remember teams record all that info from tyre blankets and from temp sensors for themselves already. And the FIA/Pirelli probably has access to evaluate potential issues during the weekends.

    3. @davidhunter13 That would get the team into trouble for the tyre being too cold.

    4. If the FIA want every team to handle tyres in the exact same way why don’t they just install their own employees into each team? They can prepare the Pirelli’s for all drivers, do checks, monitor blankets, etc… hell, let them change tyres during the pitstops as well!

  16. Mark in Florida
    16th June 2021, 2:05

    This is the lets protect Pirelli rule. I don’t know what compromising information that Pirelli has over the FIA but it must be good because they haven’t been run out yet. This rule is a farce, teams will get penalties over narrow interpretations of the various stewards. Some teams will be reported for an infraction while others won’t. How can this be fair when there’s room for the seriousness of the offense to be interpreted by an official. Just be more like Indy and get rid of the blankets and warm them up on the track. But gosh d@mn F1 has to over complicate everything!

  17. New tire rules:

    1. Be kind and polite. The tires are sensitive and easily offended.
    2. Use your inside voice. Loud voices stress the tires.
    3. Keep your hands and feet to yourself. The tires do not like to be touched and they bruise easily.
    4. Be prepared. Tires are impatient and will explode if kept waiting.
    5. Do not run or chase, except on track, and then keep at least 2 seconds apart or the tires will chafe.
    6. Wash your hands frequently. Tires can become ill and develop high fevers.

    1. @ruz234014 Very nicely put, comment of the entire saga?

  18. Hang on, hasn’t anyone noticed that this is all distracting from the fact that Pirelli are claiming a defective tyre wasn’t defective? Only the big words seem to have bamboozled the FIA into believing their utter nonsense! Frankly if I was a driver I’d be worried about how reliable the rest of their tyres are now, considering their overdramatised response.

    Reply moderated
  19. I just wish the tyres were made to run the whole race distance, letting the best cars & drivers take care of them etc.
    Pitstops are just another boring circus-trick anyway – to mask the tediosity.
    For qualifying; soft rubber & high boost etc to make it a spectacle & intrigue to see who can sustain the pace during the races.
    I would also ban weaving; that might have a positive trickle-down affect on lower formulas & heaven-forbid; allow more overtaking!

    Reply moderated
  20. How incredibly convoluted. Here I was thinking this could be solved by building more robust tyres…

  21. this weekend’s French Grand Prix,

    you mean next weekend probably @keithcollantine

    1. @alfa145 No, this weekend since French GP was brought forward by seven days.

    2. French GP this weekend, followed by two Austria GPs.

  22. I like how it’s not Red Bull’s flexing wing, Red Bull tyre blanket timing, it’s the flexing wing Hamilton spotted, it’s the tyre blanket timing Hamilton spotted. How sweet.

    1. Tommy Scragend
      16th June 2021, 6:19

      Remember what Hamilton said last season. He can see you. He’s watching you.

    2. I see this comment has not followed the correct posting procedures. I suspect the tone is colder than the prescribed minimum and I may have spotted a bit too much flex in morale somewhere in there. I suspect a scrutineer will report this comment to the stewards shortly.

    3. “Hamilton……….Lewis Hamilton”

    4. Coventry Climax
      16th June 2021, 13:16

      It takes one to recognise one.

  23. Back when. Driver got in car. Engaged first gear & moved off. Start of the race, engaged first gear, flag waved for start, dropped clutch & raced away. Numerous gear changes, braking, steering, chequered flag race over.
    Now? Hundreds of pages of technical rules & regulations to wade through, understand & implement. That’s even before the bloody car’s even built to go racing.
    FIA is exactly the same as modern Politicotards. Constant rules & regulations to justify their existence. Both parties are not doing what they were originally mandated to do.
    BEYOND RIDICULOUS THE MODERN F1 OVER REGULATION.

    1. Back when we couldn’t measure stuff as precisely, nor predict behaviour, nor did we have tools to pressurize or warm tyres with the precision we can do now.

      Nor did we have the safety awareness we have achieved over the years.

      If Pirelli would just supply rock hard tyres, like Bridgestone used to do in the last years of their contract, we wouldn’t be having as much issues. But the commentators would complain about cars going 2/3rds of the race on the soft tyres. And drivers would complain they offer little grip.

      1. @bascb Wasn’t it Bridgestone’s cheesballs in Canada in 2010 that gave some bright spark at Pirelli the idea for the high deg tyres? They were often rock solid but not always.

    2. @wildbiker The rules got to how they are in response to various conflicting requirements, some better than others. They’re a mess, but going back to the 1950 ruleset (which I think ran to two pages – one each for English and French) would not fix the problem, because we don’t live in 1950 any more.

  24. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
    16th June 2021, 7:25

    Why do i get a déjà vu feel… Something similar happened in 2013, with Pirelli eventually bringing his 2012 ones.

    Back then we had a nice championship battle till that point, plus we were in the last season of the V8’s. I just hope that this nice battle we have in 2021 isn’t altered by Pirelli’s incapability of producing quality tyres….

    1. @miltosgreekfan The problem is that last year’s tyres already are this year’s tyres… Pirelli would have to go back to the 2019 tyres (themselves rooted in 2017), which would have to be run even more conservatively because they’re 5 years behind the current car spec.

      1. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
        16th June 2021, 13:02

        @alianora-la-canta Yeah, Pirelli is in a no man’s land with their tyres. As you said, they can’t return to previous tyres as this wouldn’t be safe as all,so i guess they’ll try to stick to the 2021 ones, perhaps using higher PSI at most races.

        I just hope that no driver is gonna be at risk due to a punchure, especially in events like Silverstone and Mugello (if it returns)

  25. If michelin came back and we had a tyre war, pirelli would be destroyed!

    1. @esploratore1 I think destroyed is the term Michelin used at Indianapolis in 2005

    2. Amazing how prevalent that theory is.
      Even though there’s absolutely no evidence to support it…

      1. Other than the fact Michelin are considered to produce the best tires by many categories around the globe, Were the choice of most teams/drivers when the F1 tire tender came up a few years ago & how Pirelli in particular don’t do well in any other series when they have competition with Michelin nearly always having the tires to beat.

        It’s obvious to anyone who watches the sport that Michelin would do a better job than Pirelli if they were allowed to compete with them in F1.

        1. @roger-ayles But no evidence?

          F1 from 15 years ago is completely irrelevant, and other series have totally different demands.
          I’ve been watching for over 30 years, and it is far, far from obvious to me.

      2. Look at the lap times in Pirelli’s first year to the previous season and factor in that was with DRS added for the first time and with Pirelli being tasked with providing softer tyres they should’ve been seconds a lap quicker.
        SPOILER ALERT: Cars were slower (quali and race trim), races took longer…

        Also, look at all the driver’s comments from those early years by drivers who had driven racing tyres previously. Then factor in that Pirelli have sought to make their tyres slower since 2011 after already starting with an inferior construction they then changed from kevlar to steel belt to make them cheaper etc. They’ve never had to make better performing tyres (specifically asked not to enter a tyre war) and the FIA have been more than accommodating in producing a 13 page guide on the only safe way to use these tyres so yeah in short: Michelin would destroy Pirelli.

        1. @alec-glen You mean their first year in F1 since 1991 (19 years out) compared to Bridgestone’s 14 consecutive years? Does it really come as a surprise they’d be less refined?
          That’s also neglecting the nature of the agreement the FIA and Pirelli had to supply tyres with certain characteristics – as per the FIA’s request.
          F1 drivers are notoriously finicky – they never really like any tyre, but they almost always prefer the one they already know.

          You’ve noted that Pirelli have no direct competition in F1 – so why is it that you don’t consider, if given equal technical and development freedom as a competitor, they could produce a product of roughly equal performance?

          And you think that tyre manufacturers in a tyre war don’t issue certain specific conditions to teams that their tyres must be used under? I’d argue the current spec tyre arrangement can offer far more freedom for teams to use the tyres the way they prefer.

    3. @esploratore1 Unlikely, since the FIA wouldn’t allow a tyre war. If Michelin came back, we wouldn’t see Pirelli at all in F1.

  26. I think this is good news, don’t get why some above are complaining, as it should make no difference to the race viewer but ensures teams like red bull are not cheating with the tyre pressures for an unfair advantage.

    1. kpcart It does make a difference to the race viewer, as it affects whether we will see any more of these explosions, as well as potentially changing the performance order due to providing yet another mid-season adaptation requirement.

      1. Hamilton’s complaint related to Red Bull’s cooling of tyres to gain an advantage in qualifying. This shouldn’t affect tyre durability during the race. And tyres used in Q2 weren’t the ones that failed in the Baku race.

    2. People are complaining because it’s just another example of F1 having to create new over-regulation to try & hide the deficiencies of the tires Pirelli are supplying it with.

      At no other point in the sports history has there ever needed to be regulations introduced because of how bad the tires are. It was always that the tire supplier had to adapt & develop there tires to suit the needs, forces & way it’s tires were been used.

      It’s pathetic that the pinnacle of the sport is forced to use the worst tires in all of motor sport.

  27. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    16th June 2021, 8:25

    you have to use tyre warmers until a specific point in time for it to be fair

    This is so dumb, I don’t even know where to start. Each car has a different perfect operating window and simply because Mercedes is having a hard time finding theirs, everyone is forced to hav a harder time as well because Pirelli says so. You spend hundreds of millions on a car and yet some incompetent Italian rubber pusher can throw it all in the bin with a dictated rule. What a joke

    1. What does Mercedes have to do with this? One poster up there said that Mercedes has been suspected of the tricks that have been outlawed. Now you’re here suggesting all this is to help Mercedes. Which is which? Seriously.

  28. Is the FIA going to have a person near the plug socket so the teams don’t just wrap the blankets around the tyres but just not turn them on? Is this not a bit of a faff given that they are round black things that should be the same for everyone? Each team has a car that treats its tyres differently we know that some cars are kind to their tyres while others are not. If your car overheats its tyres is this now a penalty because you cant just design that out of a car given how the financial structure works (even before that it took a couple of seasons for a car to move to a more tyre friendly setup). And what happens if we get a rogue tyre or set? (i forget who it was in the Indy500 but one of the tyres delaminated in 3 places all over the tyre due to a manufacturing fault)

    1. No, they’re going to have a temperature gun to check what temperature the tyre got to. If it’s not in range for a tyre pressure check, it’s an automatic fail.

  29. I really don’t get this tyre warming thing. When everybody has the same tyres ans can warm them for as long as they like, what’s the problem? Teams will find their sweet spot and go from there.

    1. This!
      Let them have a go at it.
      If they want to over/underinflate and risk an exploding tyre, fine!
      If they want to over/underheat and risk a faster or slower degrading tyre, fine!
      If they want to try to run the whole race on a single set of hard tyres, fine!

      The more rules you introduce during the season, the more some teams will benefit from them and others be disadvantaged by them. Is that fair?

      Why all this micromanagement in F1?
      Security?
      First of all, a garbage collector has a higher job risk.
      Second, F1 drivers are paid enough.
      Third, because of 2, they can stop any moment they want and retire. Every F1 driver has enough money to stop working.
      Fourth, race control has more control over security as we have seen, and is not doing a stellar job of it.

    2. tielemst The problem is that the FIA and Pirelli appear to be trying to track down what exactly is going on for the tyres to be failing, but need more information from the races to do so. By putting out 12 more pages of instructions, they can hopefully make tyre pressure a constant, making it easier to assess what changes are going on to make the tyres more (or less) vulnerable to this kind of failure. In 2022, we may get more raceable tyres as a result.

      1. So, the teams have to go through a rulebook you couldn’t pick up with a fork lift to help Pirelli make better tires?

      2. Coventry Climax
        16th June 2021, 13:27

        So, F1 is to be Pirelli’s R&D department?

        1. Actually yes, F1 is Pirelli’s R&D department for F1 tyres. They gather data and analyze tyres from every car in every race to better understand and improve performance.

  30. I tip my hat to Red Bull and every other team that comes up with things like changing the moisture % of the air before inflating a tyre, voluntarily letting the tyre cool off after inflation, or letting the tyres go through several warming up and cooling down cycles before fitting them.

    It’s sad that the FIA has to intervene and police this to avoid any incidents with these hyper fragile tyres. I’d much rather have journalists investigate what different teams are doing and walking us through the science of all these clever interventions.

    1. I agree with the first part of that @paeschli – it’s nice to get some of that info out to be astonished about the drive of these teams to find every little bit of pace they can. And it is exactly what they should be doing to find that competitive edge in a closely fought championship.

      Agree also that I would love to hear more from this sort of stuff – but then, teams will want to keep secret exactly what who is doing (hopefully all of them have some of these tricks up their sleeves, or they are missing the spirit needed to compete) to avoid the competition catching on and the advantage being lost.

      But simply put, it is the task of the FIA to monitor and to keep teams to the rules as much as they can. That is the endless back and forth one gets in a technical sport.

      1. Coventry Climax
        16th June 2021, 13:45

        True, @bascb, but that does not explain why the FIA expands the rule book on a seemingly daily basis. The amount of rules (or the extent of them) is irrelevant; as long as the same rules apply to everyone, it is a level playing field. The FIA consistently comes up with new rules and directives that they can’t even monitor because they lack the personnel and expertise. They just make it difficult on themselves, and boring for the fans.
        Part of what made/makes F1 so interesting (to me at least), is the clever inventions and solutions the engineers came/come up with all the time, resulting in different cars competing, and progress. But that is being restricted more and more, to the point that F1 becomes an FIA manipulated spec race. For a spec race, I’d rather watch a Caterham race; much more racing, much more spectacle, much cheaper, not manipulated and much less burden on the environment.

    2. I tip my hat to Red Bull and every other team that comes up with things like changing the moisture % of the air before inflating a tyre, voluntarily letting the tyre cool off after inflation, or letting the tyres go through several warming up and cooling down cycles before fitting them

      Agree with this and with BasCB above. The out of the box thinking is really great. Have a great video for you guys to watch if you find such innovations interesting. Watch h**ps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rtzM-IUAx8&ab_channel=Driver61, especially from 06:15

    3. @paeschli I tip my hat to the teams that actually perform well without cheating.

  31. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    16th June 2021, 11:01

    I’ve noticed how these sudden new rules and regulations ruffle a lot of feathers when they are announced but eventually it all dies down and the pecking order stays the same. eg- banning FRIC in 2014, banning qualifying engine modes in Monza last year, the flexi-wings saga from a month ago which no one barely mentions anymore; now this, which’ll eventually become the norm and it won’t affect anyone.

    1. Agreed, it’s all noise.. A distraction.

    2. Coventry Climax
      16th June 2021, 13:59

      And banning active suspension, in hindsight, basically killed Williams – and, maybe, initiated circumstances that killed Ayrton Senna.

      If you were right about rule changes not changing the running order, then why can’t the FIA themselves see that?
      Well, I certainly support the idea that the FIA is making themselves a rather pointless organisation, but I don’t think that’s what you meant.

      Oh, and flexi wings is at least a decade older than just a couple of months.

  32. One aspect I’ve not seen discussed is how making all the teams bring a brand new seal-able valve cover for tyre tests is supposed to be compatible with a preset budget cap. Teams are going to need to start discussing allowances for complying with FIA directives not known to the teams at the start of each accounting period (i.e. rule changes informed before January 1 would be included in the budget cap for that year, but rule changes with any cost implication on/after January 1 would have to be separate). Otherwise, the cap turns into a game of who can either guess how much extra expense the FIA is going to mandate mid-season… …or about who has the best-hidden cheat mechanism to get such requirements funded without having to log them on the budget (with those having neither option potentially being punished for having the temerity to trust the FIA).

    1. Doubtless most, if not all, teams have a suitable contingency built into their budgets to cover unplanned but low cost FIA directives like the sealable valve cover. Designing and constructing a new low-flex wing would likely exceed such contingency amount.

  33. NOT in favor of this rules because science.
    Don’t believe pirelli can manufacture tyres that are exactly the same.
    Also tyres wear differently based on every car’s aero.
    Tyres are run for different numbers of laps and some of those laps might be out laps or caution laps and others are flat out racing.
    And lastly, the ambient temperature at a track can change during the race. Start off sunny and then gets cloudy or vixen versa.
    Too much variation to enforce a standard.

  34. If only the FIA had an official in every garage to make sure they abide by the rules…

    Reply moderated
  35. So when Pirellis tyres fail it’s user error, even if they follow what the manufacturer said. I’ve also noticed Hamilton making a lot of technical complaints lately, seems like he’s desperate as he sees his dominance ending.

  36. John Ballantyne
    16th June 2021, 13:31

    I remember a time when the whole competition rule book was 12 pages! F1 1 has definitely gone mad.

    1. Coventry Climax
      16th June 2021, 14:02

      And the racing was much better!

  37. Jockey Ewing
    16th June 2021, 14:29

    It is quite interesting as a whole. I don’t mind adding prescriptions like this to the set of the rules, but yes it seems to be a lengthy addition. It is not easy to prescribe pressure, as it is tempereture dependent, and I’m pretty sure, that teams will try to max out this 0.1 psi “margin of error” for their own (selfish) interest.

    Initially I found it very strange when Hamilton complained about RB getting the tyre warmer blankets earlier than the others, I not even understood what kind of advantages it can bring, as most often we hear about that the tyres are not warm enough on the first 1-2 laps.

    But yes, lower pressure means more grip. So depending on the circumtances this “earlier taking off the blankets” might have been applied by some teams. I have some doubts, whether about it is a very common practice, as tyre performance is dependent on a lot of variables. A naive list of these: air pressure in the tyres, car characteristics, track characteristics, the actual compound (C1-C5), track temperature and weather conditions, fuel load.

    So as these tyres have a very narrow operational window, this might not be a common practice, as the pressure is only one variable, and the goal (to initially heat or cool them a bit) is depending on many others. Although, low pressure means higher probability of tyre damage or puncture.
    So under some circumstances the advantages of cooling the tyres are probably outweighed by the gains of having a warmer tyre. I wonder how big and how long lasting the advantage is when the blankets are taken off earlier, and the cirsumstances are appropriate to apply this technique.

    As currently the pace difference betwen the softer and harder compounds (is not so big to make up for the lower durability of the softer compounds), and as the 1-stopper strategy seems to be faster at most GP’s than the 2-stopper strategy (as the time proportion spent in the pits is higher, when it is about 1stop vs 2stop, when it is about 2stop vs 3stop, and tread-grip wise these tyres are very durable), the following problems are present:
    – Teams generally choose to have 1 stopper strategies even if there is a chance of a puncture.
    – Decision makers of the sport are having a hard time, to enforce more pitstops for tyres, for the sake of safety.

    I am pretty sure that a mandatory 2 stopper strategy would reduce the amount of these blowouts, as these are coming from the integrity of the tyres, these can not stand the current loads, and sometimes these tyres are failing quite silently.
    Meanwhile as the pace difference are not so big between the various compounds, their structure is likely not very different, therefore the mandatory 2 stopper would be quite enough for a higher level of safety.

    There are problems with enforcing the mandatory 2 stopper, especially at mid-season, especially as the championship battle is quite hot now:
    – Mercedes has tyre warming issues (probably this is why they invented DAS), but they have a car which is quite gentle on the tyres in the long run -> so altering this would be quite unfair to them and some other competitors
    – mid-season rule changes are not very welcome generally

    But it would be quite simple, compared to a hard to enforce lengthy addition to the set of the rules. They would admit that the elephant is in the room, and the teams are not choosing safety over results.

    Probably then it would be time to forget the hardest compound forever, and enforce 2 stoppers, as:
    – Mercedes would preserve their advantage on long stints on the softer compounds as well. Probably the hardest two compounds could be dropped, or the hardness of the compounds could be rethinked, to have a bit bigger laptime gap between the compounds, for example the softest compound could be hardened a bit, and the hardes available could be softened a bit. Probably hardness- and durability-wise, it would be nice to have a C1.5, C2.5, C3.5, C4.5 (if the numbers reflecting the durability, and the performance gap).
    Or a C1.5, C2.75, C4. Managing the tyres, if it is not about their narrow operational window is very much part of a racing driver’s skill set, and much less artifical, than many of the thing what where introduced in F1 in the last few decades, so it is not an awful thing. So obviously, having tyres which degrade grip-wise a bit more, but provide less necessity of managing the temperature at the actual moment would be more natural and nice.

    We have seen drivers almost completing almost entire GP distances on the hardest compound, and the grip abandoned them only at the last few laps. Or we have seen very long stints on softs after starting on them so with high fuel load, sometimes even 30+ laps long ones, which quite much cotradicts, the allegedly low tread durability of the softs. Imo softs are rarely used for long stints, of for two stoppers, because the time spent at the pits at a 2 stopper is outweighed by the durability of the hard tyres, and generally the weaker entrants have less options and lesser tyre management, so they are using up the quite scarce tyre allocation for qualifiying a bit better, instead of having the option to consider them.

    So the structural integrity of the softer compounds of this kind of Pirelli is likely not differing so much from the harder ones, therefore they would be enough for an enforced-by-rules mandatory 2 stopper strategy, and a bit higher pace gap between the tyre compounds would introduce a not awfully artifical aspect to racing, would introduce a bit more on track events, and would introduce likely considerably more safety.
    I would give a bit more tyres as an allocation per GP weekend, as it seems to be a bit scarce, especially for the weaker teams, and the tyres are still not a very large part of the costs.

  38. It will be better just if F1 allows another tire supplier just like engine and parts multi suppliers approach
    Exclusivity on tires killed the competition since 2010

    Reply moderated
  39. At least in 2005 Michelin had the courtesy to say we made a tire that can’t handle a this curve in this circuit at this speed
    PIRELLI for 10 years blamed the debries,
    They will change F1 entire sport just to match their bad tire

    Multi Suppliers is much needed now

    Reply moderated
  40. So if that’s the reason then logic dictates that its not his team that are circumventing the rules on bendy wings, tyres, or whatever. Or at least not to the extent that others are?

  41. Don’t see why this is such a bone of contention. Clearly some teams are using tricks to get more out of the tyres than others and have done for years. Adding more regulation doesn’t affect you as fans or viewers of the sport and the only outcome can be fairer competition.

    On the specific subject of Red Bull leaving the covers off, that sounded like it is already a “unwritten rule”. F1 has a long history of unwritten rules being made into regulation when teams or drivers start to take advantage that there is no formal penalty for using them.

  42. It’s quite evident that some teams are running their tyres not always within the parameters set by the constructor regardless these statements (rumors say 5 out of 10 teams. RB and Aston Martin for sure, they didn’t mention the other three teams but you can bet at least on one…). We’ll see who will be most affected by the outcome of the new TD in France very soon…

  43. the title of the article could use better english

  44. Get rid of tire blankets! I’ve never liked them and believe they are just a gimmick that adds nothing to the racing! I thought there was a rules proposal to do so??

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