System 1’s tyre blanket ban, which is able to kick in for 2024, is getting nearer – and the motive force complaints have began.
After making an attempt the following step in direction of the ban, the discount in blanket temperature to 50C, through the tyre check in United States Grand Prix follow final week, drivers together with world champion Max Verstappen predicted “lots of crashes”.
They’re now lobbying for the ban to be known as off, and it’s understood the 50C temperature received’t be used within the subsequent tyre check session in Mexican GP follow later right this moment.
However I’m all for the ban and hopefully, we are going to see vehicles sliding round for that preliminary lap whereas drivers struggle to get some temperature into their tyres.
For 2022, the utmost permitted tyre blanket temperature is 70C, which is allowed for as much as three hours. Together with that discount in temperature (from 100C entrance and 80C rear in 2021), the minimal beginning pressures have been elevated. In Mexico this weekend they’re 23.5psi entrance and 20.5psi rear.
However inside these parameters, some groups are nonetheless struggling to get the tyres working effectively after one outlap. The Mercedes drivers typically remark that they’ll’t get the tyres working in addition to others.
The temperatures are dropping all the way down to 50C most for 2023 as one other interim step in direction of the tyre blanket ban. With that, I’m fairly positive we are going to see one other improve in minimal pressures.
Within the Bridgestone days, we’d have been working one thing like 20psi on the entrance and 16psi on the rear. This exhibits that Pirelli requires them to be loads greater with a view to keep the integrity of the tyre.
The upper you go, the much less grip you’ve gotten, heating up the tyre isn’t about floor temperature it’s about core temperature, it’s very tough to get that core temperature if the tyre is simply sliding due to much less grip so it turns into extra important for the motive force to get the nice and cozy up process good.
Again within the previous days of the Seventies and 80s earlier than tyre blankets have been the norm, we’d begin out on tyres with exceptionally low pressures – round 14psi on the entrance and 8psi on the rear.
In these days, there was nothing obtainable to warmth the tyres however the solar. We had safety bolts to cease the tyres from coming off the edges and even self-tapping screws into the bead to cease them rotating. It wasn’t unusual for a tyre to rotate on the rim and knock the stability out.
There are much more knock-on results from banning tyre blankets past the price of the blankets themselves. Typically that you must look deeper earlier than you’re taking a few of these large adjustments. And simply take a look at how a lot F1 groups are spending yearly and the next environmental prices.
A typical race is 300 kilometres. Throughout follow and qualifying, or if there’s a dash race, that’s in all probability doubled so one thing like 600km per automotive per race weekend. With 24 races, that’s a complete of 14,400km over a season. If we add to that 1600km kilometres per automotive in pre-season testing, we get a season whole of 16,000km per automotive, double that and we get 32,000 kilometres per staff per season.
Divide that by a median observe size of, say, 5km and we get 6400 laps per staff per season. With a baseline value cap of $135,000,000 for subsequent season and past, which is mainly for car-build parts and growth spend, divided by 6400 laps that equates to $21,094 per lap.
Divide that by the 5.0 kilometre lap distance and also you get $4219 per kilometre. Absurd isn’t it? And with the assorted different exemptions and inflation breaks the actual determine can be even greater.
However that’s the price of F1 and you continue to have so as to add to that the assorted different exemptions just like the manufacturing facility overhead, the three prime earners, the advertising and marketing division, catering amenities and, most often, the drivers.
But when we merely take that as a price and spherical it all the way down to $20,000 per lap, it means Pirelli must do an excellent job with its tyres when it introduces the 2024 tyres that should warm-up with out tyre blankets.
At the moment, every staff has 20 units of blankets obtainable to make use of as they see match, in order that’s 10 units per driver. They received’t essentially all be switched on on the similar time, however that’s an overhead that’s not required. And that overhead isn’t solely the blanket value, it’s the mills which are pumping out the emissions that we’re all making an attempt to minimise to save lots of our planet for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Personally, I’d counsel a distinct answer. As an alternative of no blankets in any respect, enable every staff to have 4 units per automotive to be used on slick tyres solely. Management the temperature to a most of 50C, which might enable sufficient tyres in blankets for qualifying after which the race to cut back the price of that additional tyre warm-up lap.
Not solely that, however it could take away a future debate about who was placing the tyres on their vehicles above the permitted temperature offset set to ambient. These guidelines have but to be finalised, however there should be some parameters to cease illicit heating up of tyres. Are you able to think about the accusations that can float across the paddock once we lastly get what’s going to undoubtedly be an advanced set of FIA laws to cowl this.
In the event you think about that almost all drivers will go away the pits aiming to do a fast lap as quickly as attainable not less than 5 occasions per race weekend, double that with two vehicles and you find yourself with a price of $200,000 per race weekend simply to get the tyres working.
It’s been achieved in different formulation so not inconceivable technically however not in a method with the monetary overhead of System 1. Typically it’s merely cheaper to spend a bit, total it may be a saving.
I do know it’s not so simple as that, nevertheless it’s no marvel that the groups are usually not happy with the best way these adjustments are being pressured on them.