Blanket Ban in 2015
With all eyes on Bahrain this week as the second pre-season testing gets under way, what many may have missed is that Pirelli are taking an extra set of medium compound tyres to test in Bahrain.
With the mixed results from different engines experienced in Jerez the week before last, you may be wondering why worry about tyres when there is so much to be lost or gained in Bahrain this week. The simple answer is that at the time of writing this blog post, testing Bahrain has only just begun to get under way, but we will be bringing you a full report on how the testing went in Bahrain just as soon as it finishes.
What has slipped under many peoples radar though, is one of the rule changes that will come into effect for the 2015 F1 season. Tyre warmers will be banned in 2015, and with Pirelli contracted to supply tyres for F1 until 2016, it is nice to see them trying to get a head start by testing how their tyres behave without warming blankets.
Warming blankets made their first appearance in the 1974 Canadian Grand Prix, which was held in late September. The weather conditions were very chilly and many drivers were struggling for grip in the practice sessions. There was a real fear at that time, that at the start of the actual race, tyres might separate from their rims.
The McLaren team had the simple solution of converting their pit into a heated shed, which kept their tyres sufficiently warm so that they could withstand more pressure per pound. The only problem was that by the time the cars arrived on the start grid and waited for the race to commence, all tyres would have lost their heat. The simple solution was to grab the duvets and blankets from the beds in team member’s hotel room, and wrap them around the tyres on the grid.
Warming blankets then became a necessary part of any teams pit equipment, and although the blankets in use today are a far cry from the duvets used in the 1974 Canadian Grand Prix, the job they do is very similar.
The temperature of a racing tyre is very important, and often during a race you will hear commentators saying that certain drivers are trying to get heat into their tyres. They have a window, or temperature range, that they are designed to work best at. If the temperature is outside of this window the tyre does not operate at its maximum potential.
This why you often see drivers during the formation lap, weaving and braking, because they are trying to get as much heat into their tyres as possible. Getting them to the correct heat also helps them to create more grip, which is what every driver wants on track.
In Bahrain this week Pirelli will be gathering important information on how the tyre rubber reacts without using tyre warmers.
You may think that the easiest way to solve the problem of losing the heat blankets in 2015 is for Pirelli to create tyres that heat up quicker, but too much heat is not a good thing. When a tyre gets too hot it can cause blistering which will speed up deterioration. If you then throw into this mix the differences in temperatures that can be experienced from continent to continent, then the whole process becomes an even more complicated issue.
In 2015 we may even see different sets of tyres being used depending on where in the world a certain Grand Prix is being held.
With this season only weeks away, whatever happens, one things for sure, here at Pillow Motor Sport Tours we will keep you up to date on new developments and news as it happens.
Sauber sign female Indy Car racer
Sauber have signed 25 year old Indy Car driver Simona de Silvestro as an affiliated driver. Simona has been racing in USA since she was just 18 years of age. She initially competed in Formula BMW before moving to the Atlantic championship and then graduated to Indy Car, where she has remained for the last four years. Simona scored a 2nd place podium finish last year in Houston Texas, and placed 13th last season whilst racing for KV racing Technology.
Donuts Now Legal
Wheel-spinning ‘donuts’ have now been legalised by the FIA. This now means that drivers can celebrate by doing ‘donuts’ but only if they are done in a safe manner. The actual wording in the new regulation state that a winning driver may now “perform an act of celebration” before reaching parc fermé provided that the act is done safely.
Williams Signs Multi-Year Deal
Williams has announced that they have signed a multi-year deal with Petrobas. Williams and Petrobas had a successful partnership before, lasting from 1998 until 2008. Team Principal Sir Frank Williams said
“Technologically they are very strong and that will be important for the team as the new regulations have made fuel efficiency increasingly important. They are also a very ambitious global company and we are looking forward to working together to further their marketing goals.”
Judgement For Bernie Ecclestone
Late yesterday Mr Justice Newey dismissed the case against Bernie Ecclestone regarding the sale of F1 to CVC on technical grounds. Though clearly good news for Ecclestone, Mr Newey condemned him as “untruthful and corrupt”.
The assessment of Bernie’s role in the sale is very damaging and there is a good chance he will soon lose his role as chief executive.