Pirelli Motorsport Director Mario Isola has addressed a key concern raised about the possible ban on tyre blankets in Formula 1 from 2024.
The manufacturer has recently been testing 2024-spec tyres, with the intention remaining to remove warmers from the sport next season in order to greater boost sustainability.
In the final moments before the race starts, the surge in power demand is at its highest as tyres are heated. Pirelli feel energy savings can be made, however, and so have been developing rubber which does not requires the tyre blankets.
The proposal has sparked various reactions from drivers and teams ahead of a vote being held after another tyre test takes place following the British Grand Prix.
One of the concerns voiced is that more laps will be needed to warm the tyres up, effectively voiding any energy savings made by not using blankets which could cause a particular issue in qualifying.
Isola addresses tyre concern
"Obviously, I understand the point," Isola told media, including RacingNews365.com, in response to the concern.
"The target is to supply a tyre that doesn't require three laps to warm up. It is to supply a tyre that takes three corners, not more than one lap.
"Sometimes it happens with the current tyres that you need a preparation lap in qualifying, so I understand the point.
"We can find many reasons. I heard also people saying, 'Yeah, but if you crash you spend a lot more in spare parts', and it becomes a bit too complicated to analyse.
"But the main point is that the new tyres cannot be the same as the old one. It's a different tyre, it's a different approach. It's a lot more similar to what happened in Formula 2, for example, because they don't have blankets."
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A positive effect on racing?
When asked if the move away from blankets could act as a positive factor in terms of racing, Isola acknowledged that there are differing views on this.
As such, he believes that the data recorded from testing will be crucial in understanding the potential impact.
"Somebody believes that we have an additional element of unpredictability so it's good for the show, and somebody thinks that it's a disaster for the show because they are going to slide and overtaking [will] happen because of the speed differential and all this kind of stuff," Isola explained.
"That's why we need to make simulations as best as we can, because with this we can understand the impact.
"Basically we are testing now, we get the data, we supply the data to FIA and F1, they have the tools to simulate what can happen, and we see all together [what] is the impact.
"If we believe that the impact is not good for the show, we can also decide to introduce the no-blanket concept later, in one year's time or in a longer period.
"It's a decision that we should take based on objective data, not just the feeling or other elements that are not part of the sport.
"I believe that we have to listen also to the drivers because, if they believe that for any reason it's not good to introduce the tyres, we should listen to them. We share their motivation, [so we will] consider that, check with the data and see what we have to do.
"There are a lot of experts here, we should use them."