FIA set to allow tyre warmers in 2009

Red Bull tyre warmer, Bahrain, 2008, 470150

The FIA is expected to back down from its proposed ban on tyre warmers for the 2009 F1 season at the World Motor Sports Council’s meeting on Wednesday.

A ban on tyre warmers had been proposed for next year along with the re-introduction of slick tyres.

However the FIA is now understood to believe that in order to make a ban successful it would have to stipulate a minimum pressure for cold tyres, and teams would respond by creating more costly devices to mimic the effect of tyre warmers.

The issue of tyre warmers has been divisive. Immediately after the first test without them in December last year David Coulthard said the difference in pressures was a severe danger.

Most F1 Fanatic readers were against the ban when we did a poll on it in April but the last debate we had on it was more balanced.

Tyre warmers are banned in most other major single-seater series and I’m really not convinced a ban in F1 is unworkable. However there have been strong words of concern from several drivers including Nico Rosberg over the tyre warmers ban.

Is the FIA making a tactical concession on an argument it doesn’t expect to win and doesn’t wish to fight?

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21 comments on FIA set to allow tyre warmers in 2009

  1. M Smith said on 23rd June 2008, 23:29

    I can see the FIAs viewpoint here, teams would try to work around the ban with more costly devices. The FIA could enforce this ban after some refining of the rule next year, but this is probably a rule that they don’t want to fight. It’s a shame really.

  2. M Smith said on 23rd June 2008, 23:38

    After all, tyre warmers were not introduced for safety grounds, but for a performance increase. It seems abit silly to rest on the argument of safety when they weren’t even designed for that purpose in the first place.

    And it is all well and good to argue that comparisons to other formulae, and previous generations of F1 cars is invalid due to the massive differences in the cars and the tyres. But that doesn’t mean that the FIA and Bridgestone shouldn’t work harder to an effective solution to the banning of tyre warmers, instead of giving up due to the probably of teams trying to work around the issue.

  3. peterg said on 24th June 2008, 6:48

    Having a car leave the pits on cold tyres (just like the old Champcar glory days) excites me in that it can create opportunities to pass. Also a driver demonstrating his skill on cold tyres is another aspect that appeals to me – JPM was brilliant on cold rubber in Champcar.

    However, if the drivers are being totally honest & safety is an issue, we will have to defer to their judgement.

    However, as you point out, tyre warmers are not used in other OW series.If GP2 cars survive & IRL cars can return at speed to an oval enviroment?

  4. Jonesracing82 said on 24th June 2008, 8:34

    i dont see the prob!
    other top series have no issues because of safety!
    it’s only because they are used to having pre-heated tyres. they said same about no TC etc there have been no probs! not even at Monaco in the wet!

  5. Pingguest said on 24th June 2008, 10:33

    I don’t understand. As mentioned above there’s not problem in other series. Previous generations of F1-drivers did without the tyre warmers as well. Does this prove the previous generations were actually better than the current one?

  6. Sassan said on 24th June 2008, 10:34

    Look what is the problem. A guy on hot tyres attacking a guy on hot tyres would be great to see. other top single seater series banned them why can’t we. We are the pinnacle of motorsprot but it doesn’t seem that way. We are ultra safe anyway. In the sixties they were no slicks, full – face helmets or lot more other things so what would be the problem now. Anyway it was only introduced for the performance increase not for safety.

    Keith a new article you could write. Blunders of the FIA.

  7. Sush said on 24th June 2008, 11:14

    I’m against the ban, while warming up the tyres should be part of racing, the amount of fuel burnt up to get there is what concerns me.

    earthdreams ISO 9001

  8. Paul said on 24th June 2008, 11:55

    Comparing what used to be done is not really valid. Cornering speeds are much higher now days and the days when tire warmers did not exist was a time when full slicks were being used.

    Cold tyres on a car that can go around corners faster than 10 or 15 years ago when there is a much smaller contact patch WOULD be dangerous.

  9. Paul said on 24th June 2008, 11:57

    …but probably no more dangerous than removing traction control or launch control.

    Overall I don’t really care either way. The drivers would adapt and quickly.

  10. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th June 2008, 12:31

    Paul – surely the contact patch next year with slick tyres will be much bigger than this year with grooved tyres?

  11. Paul said on 24th June 2008, 13:16

    Are slicks deffinate? Good point.

    Narrow track cars were brought in at the same time as the grooved tyres. This also adds to the instability and the fact that the cars corner much faster now is a big factor.

    As I said before, I don’t care which way they go but I do believe them when they say there would be some increased danger in the initial laps and this danger is greater than it would have been prior to tire warming all those years ago.

    I guess the increased safety within the car build itself probably more than mitigates any increased danger.

  12. Bbbut said on 24th June 2008, 13:27

    The whole naming is wrong here! It was never planed to ‘ban’ tyre waring.
    The teams have build the heaters and they are now available for everyone. And they will naturally continue to use them in training, testing and even qualifying, because they have no laps to waste. Just in race at the pit stop they would disallow warm tyres.

    If FIA wants to create more excitement they could just define a maximum temperature.
    But nooo, that would be way to simple. They just have to screw their tyre supplier by forcing them to develop a new rubber compound and compromise drivers safety.
    Like always they have not fully thought of the consequences of their new rule.
    And now valid arguments are replied in political manner. It is so easy for them to play the “drivers are all sissies” card.
    That is the fundamental problem with Mosley’s FIA. Everything they do is focussed around politics and playing off one side against another instead of mediating between the parties.

  13. DASMAN said on 24th June 2008, 13:28

    I’m not really fussed one way or the other, but didn’t Alex Zinardi have his crash(in Indycar) where he lost his legs because of cold tires? Ok, he pulled back onto the oval after spinning which caused the crash, but I dare say that the cold tires were a factor.

  14. Pingguest said on 24th June 2008, 13:52

    Dasman, Zanardi probably spinned due to flueds on the surface at the pit exit.

  15. donwatters said on 24th June 2008, 14:45

    Sassen: If Keith were to write an article about the blunders of the FIA it would a never-ending piece. None of us would ever be able to get any work done.

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