As part of the FIA’s push for Formula One to become carbon net zero by 2030, Pirelli have been asked to play their part. Currently the tyres used in F1 are pre-heated in tyre blankets for two hours before they are fitted to the car but Pirelli have been asked to develop tyres to operate without pre-heating.
Tyre warmers have been part of F1 since the mid-eighties but at that time they were an added bonus for the drivers who had the same level of grip when fitting new tyres as they had previously after several laps of warming the tyre up as they raced.
Hamilton says Pirelli blanket-less tyres “dangerous”
Now drivers are dependent on the tyre warmers, such that Lewis Hamilton this year described the looming ban on tyre warmers as “dangerous”.
“I’ve tested the no-blankets [tyres] and there’s going to be an incident at some stage. So on a safety factor I think it’s the wrong decision.
The F1 commission will vote after the British GP whether to begin the new era without tyre warmers in 2024. Yet in Canada this weekend Pirelli brought the first of their range of tyres that doesn’t require pre-heating.
Wolff slams new Pirelli tyres
The extreme wet tyre which has been rarely seen in recent years was used extensively at the start of qualifying. However, the drivers were struggling with tyre temperatures during the heaviest of the rain which raised questions as the the Pirelli rubber’s capabilities.
Wolff told Sky Germany’s Ralph Schumacher, the “heavy wet doesn’t do much”, adding: “Everyone prefers to stay on intermediates, unless the aquaplaning becomes really, really bad.”
Schumacher questioned the Mercedes’ boss as to whether he believed Pirelli need to do a better job.
“Yes, I believe we need to work on that now, how we can do it because, as you said, the heavy wet should be the better tyre in terrible conditions. And right now, it’s not.”
Pirelli defend their tyre compounds
Pirelli’s motorsport director Mario Isola disagreed
“Yesterday’s weather forecast predicted rain for today and it proved to be accurate. It meant we could see both the Intermediate and the new Full Wet tyres in action.
“As for the Intermediates, we saw that their operating window is still very wide, given the competitive times set with them in Q1 when the track was practically dry.
“The Full Wet, which in this new specification does not require preheating, worked as expected without any evidence of temperature management issues right from the start of their use.
Two stop strategy the quickest in Canada
Isola is expecting the race to be run in the dry although the track will be green given the all day deluge on Saturday.
Pirelli suggest the quickest strategy would be for the teams to two stop. Starting the race on the medium tyre compound then running two stints on the soft.
Invariably some of the slower teams will try and one stop starting the race on the hard compound tyre switching to the medium to finish.
This gives them some flexibility should a safety car be deployed which is a regulate feature of the F1 grand prix in Montreal.
The track temperature will be crucial with some of the teams struggling to get the tyres working properly in cooler conditions. This would then push these teams back towards a two stop on the softer medium and soft compounds.
— Formula 1 (@F1) June 18, 2023