Tyre, Jerez, 2014

Pirelli to test for tyre warmer ban in Bahrain

2014 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Tyre, Jerez, 2014Pirelli will bring an extra set of tyre for this week’s test in Bahrain to allow teams to test for the forthcoming ban on the use of tyre warmers.

Tyre warming devices, which have been in use in F1 since the mid-eighties, are set to be banned in 2015.

Pirelli will supply an extra set of medium tyres to each team in order for them to test how well they heat up without the use of tyre warming blankets.

The soft, medium and hard tyre compounds will be available for the teams to use in the four-day Bahrain test, which starts tomorrow. They will also be able to use the ‘winter’ version of Pirelli’s hard tyre, which was used in Jerez, to evaluate its performance in hotter temperatures.

“In Bahrain, we’re expecting better weather and more running, which will allow ourselves and the teams to assimilate more data and knowledge of the tyres,” said motorsport director Paul Hembery.

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Image © Pirelli/LAT

33 comments on “Pirelli to test for tyre warmer ban in Bahrain”

  1. Drivers who have trouble getting heat into tyres must be dreading next season during the races, we see Button for example having trouble getting heat into them even with tyre warmers. Plus would having no tyre warmers affect tyre degradation given the rapid heat?

    1. Maybe the fronts but I don’t think anyone will have trouble spinning up those rears.

    2. Tire compounds are very complex, so your questions are not easily answered. Pirelli will probably attempt to make a rubber that will be grippy in a larger and lower temperature window, so the lack of tire warmers will be less “painful” for the drivers.
      The first few laps on cold tires will be trickier, and I bet this will bring a lot more excitement for the pit stops, as the margin for error will be much larger, and keeping someone behind will take more effort and bravery.
      I welcome this with open arms! – just like the fixed gear ratios.
      – limitations in f1 can be good too :)

  2. Very keen to see how the teams work this, It probably doesn’t affect F1 as much as karting (feel free to correct me on that) but making sure you have the right balance in PSI to warm the tires up quick enough is very important. To little and they’ll be struggling for first lap pace, to much and they’ll be over heating in the middle/later stages of the race.

    1. @kartingjimbo
      Maybe Pirelli should try to find the right components to build a tyre that heats easily when new but doesn’t ‘burn’ drastically towards the end of its life, it’s a very challenging task.

      Right PSI balance is critical in F1 too, not only for tyre heating and performance but also to protect the structure like we learned last year with Pirelli issuing recommendations on tyre pressures.

      1. Interesting link :)

      2. Just to point out the article claims that cars weigh 500kg and minimum weight is 605 including a driver. So nothing like 100kg of ballast, unless the driver is extremely thin! This does allow for 105kg of driver (if you wanted a really fat one). This year the margin is not so big (not sure of exact numbers but maybe 60-70kg), meaning taller (heavier) drivers like hulkenburg missing out on a “top” seat so they can not be penalised by having a car running at more than the minimum weight.

  3. Good to see they bring this early enough that Pirelli will be able to adjust compounds to work best and the teams can take their findings into consideration for next years cars. It should always be like this.

  4. I hope it doesn’t make too much difference to first lap tyre performance. If it nullifies the ‘undercut’ advantage it would make strategy less interesting. Also could hurt qualifying performance but i think the outlap should be plenty to get them into their working range.

    1. I think it will make strategy much more interesting. Sure, the driver who pits first won’t be able to do the undercut, but will still initially have a big speed advantage as his tyres will have an extra lap of heat in them, which I think will be better to watch than the undercut process. After all, what’s more interesting – on-track overtaking or simply swapping positions during the pit cycle?

      1. You make a very good point that I hadn’t considered. The undercut will still be advantageous, but it probably won’t put the undercutting driver out in front, rather it will put them right on the gearbox of the leader with prewarmed tires while the leader struggles to bring his up to temperature. The question however is if that kind of difference in tire performance makes for overtaking that’s any less artificial than a DRS overtake, and I’m not sure I can answer that.

  5. Obvously FIA is missing heavy accidents in F1. It reminds me of active suspension ban. Stupid reasons and fatal consequences. FIA is on the go again.

    1. Not exactly.. Many series have no tyre warmers…

      1. Go karts as well!

    2. IndyCar drivers don’t need tyre warmers and their cars are not too far away from F1 cars in terms of performance so I don’t see any cause for concern. These are supposed to be the best drivers in the world after all.

    3. Oh, my, the tyres won’t be warm anymore, it will be a bit of work to get them up to temperature – just as all these guys will have been doing in lower racing categories where the tyres aren’t warmed either. Nor are they in US top lvl motorsports nor in sport car racing.

      Come one, there is really no need to warm them, apart from making it easier for the driver to just floor it after a pitstop and blast away. Together with the electrical engines torque this can make driving the cars more challenging and show up the more skilled drivers, something that can only be good.

      I myself am looking forward to seeing a magnificently driving Hamilton fight against an undercutting Alonso on colder tyres and still manage to keep ahead (for example).

  6. These new regulations are coming thick and fast its becoming hard to keep up. But if it does mean drivers have to work more and show us more of their talent then its probably worth it.

    1. W (@yesyesyesandyesagain)
      18th February 2014, 14:46

      This is one of the reasons I get so impressed when I watch old videos of Senna and the like manually shifting, reaching down to select gears when turning hard with only one hand. The flappy paddle gear shifters just don’t require near the same level of skill.

  7. Ever since we started seeing that thermo-cam footage in the races last season, I’ve been wondering how effective the tire blankets are anyways. Whenever they took the blankets off, the tires were yellow/orange, but even before the cars started moving, they seemed to be back down to blue/black again. But I’m not a tire expert. lol. Maybe there’s an internal heat, closer to the hub, that the cams can’t show?

    1. Even when the colors on the Thermal-Cam’s go to Blue/Black the temperature is still somewhere around 100 degrees Celsius +.

      Going back to the 80s when tyre warmers were 1st used, They were initially only used for the qualifying tyres & I recall the tyre suppliers been unhappy about that because they were unsure of the affect pre-heating the tyres would have on the compounds.

    2. The cameras are also only showing the exposed surface, I don’t think it’s possible for the cameras to measure heat internally (i.e. closer to the hub, like you suggest). I know a method of heating the tyres is also strong braking, since the heat from the brakes radiate into the wheel/hub, helping to maintain pressures, so warming up the tyres isn’t necessarily just weaving from side to side and applying tyre warmers. I’m guessing the warmers, since they’re on for prolonged periods, heat the whole tyre surface and sidewalls, whereas drivers can control surface temperature (i.e. weaving on straights) and internal tyre temperature, to an extent (i.e. heating up the tyres with heavy braking).

      This is all that I can get from my armchair engineering. I got ‘tyred’ just thinking of this, so it’s a damned good thing I’m not a F1 engineer (or a race engineer, period.)

    3. As GT racer says, what you see on the thermal camera is miss-leading, as it depends how it is calibrated. They are probably calibrated so that the difference between orange and blue is just a few degrees, so that you can see it change even once it is up to operating temps (varying between straights and corners).

      Steven is also correct that the camera only picks up surface temp, so tyres might be up to temp internally but not at the surface, or vice-versa.

  8. I can mostly understand the other changes, but why ban tyre warmers? Are they horribly expensive, or dangerous, or what?

    1. I imagine they are probably quite expensive: constant electrical supply, the equipment itself, having to ship it out.

    2. I don’t think it’s the danger, but just the expense.

  9. Another rule change by FIA that is very strange. As stated soooo many times, F1 should be the pinnacle of motorsports. There seems to be a desperate ambition by FIA to create excitement in F1 but clearly, the way to achive it is madness. Reduce power and slow the cars down, introduce complicated technology (with no cool and loud sound) so we see lot’s of DNF, limit the fuel and now take away the tyre blankets. HELLO, FIA heads – this is not the way to get more fans to the tracks or in front of TV’s/Pads!! I wonder who comes up with all this stupidness.
    The magic is lost. Sorry to say. Sad times…

  10. So I now assume that the FIA and Bernie have gone competely mad…
    Hopefully Mclaren and other teams that struggle with tyre heat won’t suffer too badly…

  11. Finally a change that will not suit Button. With degrading tyres now fuel consumption issues this will finally stop him winning everything.

  12. How about if all the engineers just warmed up their gloves, then rubbed the tires, hugging them as if they themselves were the tire warmers?

    Ridiculous idea, but surely there are some clever minds looking to circumnavigate this ban through ingenious ways

    1. Mechanics with wet hair pretending to dry their hair with industrial strength hairdryers standing near the tyres. Maybe Newey could cut RB mechanics hair to create a coanda effect. 2015 controversy ‘Blown haircuts’

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