AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost has called on Formula 1 to get rid of tyre blankets from the sport, labelling them as too expensive and unsustainable.
As part of the new regulations for 2022, tyre blankets, used to warm the Pirelli compounds to exact temperatures, were due to be outlawed completely – but there has been a U-turn on this particular area and the blankets appear to be here to stay once again.
Tost has never been a big fan of the blankets to begin with and has spoken of his frustration with them.
“Three or four years ago, I was really pushing very hard that we get rid of these tyre blankets,” Tost said.
“Four weeks ago, or three weeks ago, I approved the order for next year’s new tyre blankets, €375,000. I ask myself…what for?
“First of all, we spent a hell of a lot of money for these tyre blankets.
“Second, it’s technically very complicated now, it’s got a known science. It’s not only to heat the tyres, it’s to heat the rims, it’s to heat the carcass and it’s to heat the surface in the correct way.
“Every team, four or five engineers [are] working for this process. Then there’s the sustainability. We need a lot of energy for running this process with the tyre heating.”
The tyre blankets have come under some closer scrutiny in recent weeks given how teams have been preparing their tyres to hit the track. Some with lower pressures than Pirelli had been accounting for in their pre-session analysis.
Tost’s solution to that is an easy one, in his opinion.
“It would be so easy, no blankets and the FIA should come up with a sensor just to measure the pressure,” he added. “That’s it.
“If there are no blankets and the FIA can check the tyre pressures, it’s easy. I’m just asking myself why we make everything more complicated. Pirelli simply has to provide us with tyres that work under these conditions.
“In former times, F1 didn’t have tyre blankets, it’s a long time ago, but it’s possible. Other categories also don’t have tyre blankets. It’s a little bit complicated, everything. And next year we start with a completely new tyre.”