Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas is the latest driver to question Formula 1’s controversial idea to get rid of tyre blankets next season.
F1 had been looking at gradually reducing the amount of heat that can be put into the tyres by blankets with a view to ultimately preventing teams from using blankets at all.
The idea of reducing blanket temperatures from 70 to 50 degrees Celsius this year was eventually abandoned but as it stands, the Pirelli rubber will not be pre-heated from next year.
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Last year, Max Verstappen predicted “a lot of crashes” after the blankets are removed, while Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton more recently criticised the changes as “dangerous.”
Bottas takes a slightly more diplomatic approach, but still warns that getting chilly tyres into an operating window is a difficult ask.
“It’s quite a new concept for Formula 1 cars, with the amount of load we have in the cars,” he said.. “And having such a tyre that works from low temperature to high is not easy to make.
“I think Pirelli is really working hard on it. Obviously, warm-up is a bit of an issue when you don’t have blankets. But Bahrain is probably the easiest track to get the tyres to warm-up so it was actually manageable.”
The Finn explained that the tyres might also wear off more quickly as a result of the rule adaptation.
“The pressure rise is massive when you start cold and when you end up 100°C, so that obviously makes the tyre drop-off significantly worse,” added Bottas.
“In my personal opinion, I don’t feel that’s the way to go but I think they’re working really hard and it’s obviously not up to us what’s going to happen in the future.”
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