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Pirelli hits back at Russell safety claims: Change your driving style

Drivers have been vocal about the impending rule change for 2024 which could see tyre blankets banned.

Pirelli has hit back at George Russell's "concerned" claims that Formula 1 is not ready for a tyre blanket ban in 2024. The Mercedes driver voiced his concerns that it might be too early to bring the tyres "into a racing scenario" after taking part in the post-Barcelona test. Even though it was a good circuit to measure how well the tyres performed in a high-speed and high-stress environment, Russell believed the conditions were not representative of what drivers will experience all year round. However, Pirelli engineer Simone Berra said the firm did not have any concerns with their data, and suggested that drivers must adapt their driving styles. "ln terms of safety, I don't see from the data that I've seen any specific risk. You need to change the way you are driving in the first lap for sure," he told media, including RacingNews365.com . "Drivers will have to adapt their driving style, even to protect the tyre because you can generate graining even if you push too much in the first corners and the tyre is not up to temperature. "I respect the drivers' opinion, that's for sure. But I think that obviously there will be differences compared to the old products and all the tyre management."

Pirelli: We consider the tyres race-able

A final decision is set to be made on whether to go ahead with the ban by the FIA, F1, and the teams after a further test at Silverstone following the British Grand Prix, once they have been presented with Pirelli's report. Russell said he would be "very concerned" about his mechanics in the pit lane during a pit stop and claimed "there would be crashes, I have no doubt" if the switch to no blankets is made. He is also not the only driver to voice his concerns, with Lewis Hamilton also branding the switch "dangerous" if it goes ahead. Pirelli is confident that its construction can be used in a race scenario, given that it was designed with the purpose of getting up to temperature more rapidly than the current specification. "We consider the tyres race-able, otherwise they would not be submitted for evaluation," explained Berra. "Obviously in cold conditions it could be trickier to bring the tyres up to temperature, but I think it's just a matter of doing the first portion of the lap." The data from the tests suggests that it is possible to warm the tyres up in the initial first sector, with the tyre reaching the same temperatures it would normally do if it came out from the blankets, according to Berra. He added: "[In the] first sectors we can see much more difference compared to other sectors because already sector two and sector three are in line with the lap times with blankets usage. "It's just a matter of really managing the first few corners and being careful."

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