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Debate rumbles on over F1’s planned ban of tyre warmers for next year. Last year drivers including David Coulthard criticised the move to ban tyre warmers in 2009, when slick tyres will return to F1. He called it: “another Senna situation“.
In response tyre suppliers Bridgestone promised to bring revised compounds to the slick tyre test at Barcelona which the teams are currently in the middle of. But Pedro de la Rosa is still not happy:
The first lap is very slow, and that’s the danger. There are cars which are up to racing speed and you are coming out of the pits very slowly. You are like a mobile chicane.
That’s the problem that this kind of rules has. But Bridgestone has taken a big step forward and we still need to improve a lot.
As far as I’m concerned banning tyre warmers is definitely a good thing because it makes life more difficult for the driver – and I think Formula 1 should be the most challenging form of motor sport there is.
I understand the argument against it on grounds of safety. And I do feel the concerns of some drivers should be listened to because they are the only ones who really know what they are talking about.
However there are a few things we should consider. First, tyre warmers are banned in other top single seater categories such as Indy racing, and the drivers cope just fine.
Also tyre warmers weren’t common in F1 until the mid-1980s, and the drivers coped just fine then as well. (It certainly wasn’t the case, as I saw one forum contributor remark recently, that “cars spinning off just after they pitted was a common sight.”)
I’m glad to see de la Rosa hasn’t immediately called for the ban to be scrapped and is instead calling for Bridgestone to find a solution.
Getting a tyre up to temperature on the track is a key part of a racing driver’s skill that is commonplace outside of F1 and is something we should see more of, not less. The entire reason we saw such an exciting end to the European Grand Prix last year was because the leader did not treat his tyres correctly after a pit stop.
More of that please. Tyre warmers should be banned.