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Hamilton warns against a 'dangerous' change coming to F1

The Mercedes driver was keen to voice his opinion on F1's plans to implement a change to a longstanding component of the sport.

Lewis Hamilton has branded Formula 1's efforts to ditch tyre blankets "dangerous" as it looks to phase them out from 2024. The maximum tyre blanket temperatures was capped at 70 degrees for the 2022 season, with the FIA looking to lower that number in subsequent seasons. But Hamilton thinks the plans to move away from the tyre warm-up method could pose a safety risk to drivers on track. "I think it's dangerous," he told media, including RacingNews365.com . "I've tested with no blankets and I think there's going to be an incident at some stage. So on a safety factor, I think it's the wrong decision." Pirelli ran a tyre test at the US Grand Prix last year whereby teams were limited to only heating tyres up to 50 degrees, with this rising to 70 degrees during the Mexican Grand Prix test, but only for two hours instead of three. This is set to be carried out in 2023 along with a limit of tyre blankets for each driver from ten to seven for slicks. Pirelli also made a 2024 development compound available to drivers during pre-season testing in Bahrain.

Hamilton: It's a pointless exercise

The main reason for getting rid of the tyre warm-up method is to do with the environmental impact it could have, by saving huge amounts of energy. Pirelli found that after three hours of heating tyres, the steep curve of heating would plateau after just two - leading to an hour of wasted energy. However Hamilton believes the trade off between using energy for heating and burning fuel on track to warm up tyres makes it a "pointless exercise." "Also you have to drive multiple laps to get the tyres to work and the whole argument is that taking away the blankets is for being more sustainable, when in actual fact we just use more fuel to get temperature into tyres," explained Hamilton. "But more concerning just when you go out with the cars, you're skating around, it's very twitchy. And if [driving against] someone else who's on tyres that are working, you could easily collide with them. It's such a pointless exercise."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix