Pirelli under the pump ahead of F1’s crunch tyre blanket ban vote

Michelle Foster
Mick Schumacher drives Mercedes W14 in Barcelona, 2022.

Mick Schumacher driving the Mercedes W14 in Barcelona, 2022.

Pirelli still have a “few details to fine-tune” with the revised 2024 tyres before the post-British GP vote on banning tyre blankets takes place, says motorsport boss Mario Isola.

Mercedes and Ferrari were in action at the Circuit de Catalunya on Tuesday and Wednesday where George Russell, Mick Schumacher, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc covered over 600 laps in a tyre test.

Running tyres that weren’t heated by tyre blankets, the two days of action gave Pirelli important information ahead of the proposed 2024 tyre blanket ban.

Isola says further refinements still have to be made before the next test which takes place in the days after the British Grand Prix. That will be the final run before the FIA and the teams vote on whether or not to ban tyre blankets for next season.

“These were two very important days of testing as we gathered plenty of useful information to come up with the best possible choices for next year,” Isola said.

“In terms of construction there are still just a few details to fine-tune, while during this test we began to identify a solid development base for the compounds; especially for the middle of what will be the 2024 range.

“All the running took place without using tyre blankets.

“We verified a few interesting things on track; now we move onto a complete analysis of all the data so that we head into the next test, at Silverstone after the British Grand Prix, as well-prepared as we can be.

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“After that, we will draw some conclusions from all the work done over the last few months and present the FIA, F1, and the teams with the complete picture, so that the best decisions can be taken using all the information available.”

Although Pirelli are pushing for the tyre blanket ban as part of Formula 1’s sustainability efforts, not all of the drivers are in favour with Lewis Hamilton calling it “dangerous.

“I’ve tested the no blankets, and there is going to be an incident at some stage. So, from a safety factor I think it is the wrong decision.”

Max Verstappen has warned there’ll be “a lot of crashes. That I know already compared to what we have at the moment.

“Also, your tyre degradation is going to be completely different because your tyres are very cold. You are sliding around a lot in the first few laps.”

The FIA have already announced the vote on the blanket ban has to take place no later than 31 July.

The rules also stated that “for the regulation change to be adopted successfully, the FIA, F1 and a simple majority of competitors (5 out of 10) will all have to vote in favour.”