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Pirelli

Pirelli react with 2023 changes after driver safety backlash

Pirelli will amend their plans to reduce F1 tyre blanket temperatures in 2023, following safety concerns from the drivers.

Pirelli Test Aston Martin Austin 2022
Interview
To news overview © XPBimages

Pirelli have revealed that they will cancel their plans to reduce F1 tyre blanket temperatures for 2023, following driver complaints.

Following trials of their 2023 tyres during practice for the United States and Mexican Grands Prix, drivers voiced their concerns about the Pirelli's plan to reduce tyre temperatures for 2023, and to ban tyre blankets altogether for 2024.

As part of F1 and Pirelli's aim to reduce costs and energy consumption, the gradual phasing out of tyre blankets was to continue in 2023.

The step for next year involves reducing tyre blanket temperatures from 70 degrees Celsius to 50.

Speaking exclusively to RacingNews365.com, Pirelli's Motorsport Director Mario Isola confirmed that the driver's had expressed their concerns about the reduced temperatures.

"We tested the prototypes in Austin with the blankets at 50 degrees," confirmed Isola.

"The main complaints from drivers were about the warmup phase.

"The change was something they felt [was] quite a lot, and they struggled with the first lap or couple of laps with a much lower grip compared to the [tyres at] 70 degrees.

"Some of them are still asking for blankets [to be] back to 100 degrees as it was in the past, so they are very linked to the past."

Pirelli propose new heating cycle for 2023

F1 tyres are currently heated to 70 degrees for three hours prior to running, and Pirelli are looking to phase this process out to reduce energy consumption as part of their own sustainability goals.

After tests, Pirelli confirmed that their aims to reduce energy consumption in 2023 could be achieved by reducing the heating time of the tyres, rather than reducing the temperatures for next season

Isola confirmed that F1 tyres will remain heated to 70 degrees for next season but at a reduced heat cycle time from three hours to two.

"We came up with a proposal in Mexico, instead of having 50 degrees for three hours, you have to do 70 degrees for two hours," added Isola.

"During FP2, we tested the tyres with this new solution and the drivers' feedback was positive with this new solution.

"So basically, we are not going back on the plan to reduce energy in a progressive way until 2024. We have just changed the system."

The tyre blanket ban is part of the 2024 regulations, and any change would require a vote from the F1 Commission, along with ratification from the World Motor Sport Council.

Any changes to the 2024 technical regulations would require a 'super majority' (securing 28 of the 30 available votes from the FIA, F1 and the F1 teams) if the vote takes place after April 2023. Any earlier vote would only require a 'simple majority' (25 out of 30 votes).

"The plan is to ban the blankets in 2024, no change compared to previous situation," added Isola.

"We will have updates next year. If for any reason, drivers are against that or whatever, we need to postpone the introduction of this [then] it will be a decision involving the Formula One Commission first of all, because it requires a vote."

Pirelli aiming for wet tyre blanket ban in 2023

Pirelli's wider aim to eliminate tyre blankets extends to their wet-weather tyres; the green-walled intermediate tyre and the blue-walled 'full wet' tyre.

Isola outlined Pirelli's plan to trial some improved wet-weather tyres in the F1 off-season and, if successful, the elimination of their tyre blankets for the 2023 season.

"We are planning to test intermediate tyres in December this year and February in beginning of next year, with 2022 cars, before the start of the season," confirmed Isola.

"The target is to have a new intermediate tyre with an improved the warmup phase and a new wet tyre with a better warmup and better performance, because we know that we have to improve the performance of the wet-weather tyre.

"If we are successful in these couple of tests, the plan is to introduce this new intermediate-weather tyre in 2023, and also to evaluate if it is possible to introduce it without blankets.

"From 2023, a possibility is also to have wet-weather tyres without blankets, that is the first step in the direction to ban blankets completely for Formula One in the future."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

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