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Why Is F1 Banning Tyre Blankets?

Somin Bhattacharjee

Why Is F1 Banning Tyre Blankets?

We have all seen the mechanics of F1 teams hold a blanket over each tyre of the car before the drivers take them out on track. This may look insignificant, but is one of the most crucial things for a team ahead of the start of a session.

The blankets that the mechanics hold over the tyres are ‘tyre blankets’. As the name suggests, their main purpose is to keep the tyres warm or heat them up. Having warmer tyres is very important for drivers because it means they will have better grip out on the track.

The warmer rubber sticks to the surface of the track, because the tyres are designed to perform optimally only after reaching a certain temperature. For the current Pirelli tyres, this temperature is 212 F (100 C).

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What is the difference between tyre warmer and tyre blanket?

Even though their purpose is the same, there’s a difference between tyre warmers and tyre blankets. The former is attached to a blanket to warm it up but cannot be used when the tyres are attached to the car.

The warmers heat the tyres up, whereas the blankets make sure that the temperature stays the same once the car has left the garage.

Why are tyre blankets being banned?

Tyre blankets may be extremely crucial for an F1 team right now, but the governing body of the sport wants to slowly phase it out. At the United States GP last year, the maximum temperature for these tyre blankets was reduced to 50 C, which posed a problem for the teams.

When they announced that these blankets won’t stay in the sport from 2024 onwards, drivers and teams stood firmly against it. Starting a race on colder tyres means that the drivers will struggle for grip on the opening few laps. Two-time World Champion Max Verstappen feels that if the blankets are removed, there will be more crashes, which has him worried.

However, F1’s stance towards contributing to sustainable development remains strong. The fact that these blankets are electrically powered and consume a huge amount of energy does not help their cause, which is forcing them to scrap it altogether.

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What happens when tyres become too hot?

Having warmer tyres is always a huge advantage for the driver, but they don’t want it to get too hot. The warm tyres do provide better grip, but if they gain a lot of temperature, they start to degrade quickly and blisters begin to appear.

If the tyre starts to degrade, drivers will be forced to make pit-stops which will cost them a lot of time. This is why we see drivers making more than one pit-stops on tracks that are high-speed and where the track temperature is relatively higher.

About the author

Somin Bhattacharjee

Somin Bhattacharjee


Somin Bhattacharjee is an F1 editor at The SportsRush and has written more than 2000 articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and considers sports to be a part of his life. Somin has been a fan of Scuderia Ferrari since 2010 and his favorite driver is none another than the legendary Fernando Alonso. Other than longing for a Ferrari Championship win once again, Somin spends his free time playing football and basketball.

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