Pirelli’s Mario Isola says a decision on the possible tyre blanket ban for 2024 is set to be made next week.
Formula 1 is weighing up the possibility of outright banning tyre blankets from the start of 2024, with Pirelli carrying out extensive testing since the start of the season with the aim of introducing new, more suitable, tyre compounds.
The ban will have obvious ramifications on the immediate pace and grip available to drivers as they leave the pits, with safety a concern as Pirelli fine-tune the compounds being developed ahead of the possible ban.
Pirelli’s crunch tyre test and vote to be held after Silverstone.
Following on from a major tyre test after the Spanish Grand Prix, Pirelli carry out two more days of tyre testing at Silverstone on the Tuesday and Wednesday following the British Grand Prix.
After that, the F1 Commission, made up of the teams, Pirelli, and representatives from the FIA and FOM, is set to vote on whether or not to definitely ban tyre blankets from use in 2024, and Mario Isola explained the process as he spoke to the media on Friday at Silverstone.
“We have a Tuesday and Wednesday test. It is not the final test because we have other test plans for the rest of the season,” he told media, including PlanetF1.com.
“But, after this test, the F1 Commission is going to decide if, for 2024, we ban the blankets or not.
“What we are doing is that, after the test, we are doing a report, an executive summary for the team principals so they don’t have to read the 40 or 50 pages.
“It’s just three pages with a summary, it will be the summary of the test.
“Obviously, we would supply also all the data to the tyre experts of the teams, so it’s not just the summary for them. Then I hope they are going to decide, based on the data, if we want to continue for another year with blankets.”
What are Mario Isola’s thoughts on the ban?
Asked about what Pirelli’s data is telling him, and whether Formula 1 is ready for a tyre blanket ban, Isola said it very much revolves around the exact tyre compounds in use.
“It depends on what you mean by ‘ready’, the new tyres or the tyres which work without blankets are different tyres,” he said.
“So you cannot expect that you have a warm-up phase that is exactly the same, or the warm-up phase of the current tyres that are heated at 70 degrees.
“We didn’t have the possibility to test the tyres in all the conditions, because we don’t have cold conditions at the moment, and when we tested in colder conditions like with Mercedes at Paul Ricard at the beginning of the season, we didn’t have the compounds which were the final version of the compound.
“We were in the early stages of the development, so the point is that we have to accept that, when tyres are run without blankets, they are different.
“We need to understand the issues which impact on race strategies because, obviously, we don’t want the show to be damaged by the new situation.
“But the direction that we agreed with all the F1 stakeholders is to reduce the impact on the environment to make the sport more sustainable and this is what we are doing.”