Ex-driver hits out at Lewis Hamilton for criticising tyre blankets ban

Multiple drivers have expressed their concerns about Formula 1’s plans to ban tyre blankets.

Getting the tyres up to temperature and in the sweet spot is key to performance in Formula 1, as warm tyres provide the drivers with the most grip.

While drivers have the luxury of being able to complete warm up laps in qualifying, this is not the case during the race, where drivers must exit the pit lane following a stop and get right up to race pace.

To help the drivers with this, teams use electric tyre blankets to keep tyres warm, meaning that drivers do not go out on track on cold tyres.

Formula 1, the FIA and Pirelli are all working together to ban these tyre blankets, with the aim of making F1 more sustainable.

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Lewis Hamilton has been one of the drivers to question this ban, claiming that sending drivers out on track on cold tyres will put their lives at risk and cause more accidents, with every driver just exiting the pits having much less grip than the other drivers on track.

The Brit has also claimed that the ban will not make F1 more sustainable, as drivers will be forced to burn more fuel when completing extra warm up laps to get their tyres up to temperature in practice and qualifying.

Former IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe has now hit out at Hamilton’s claims, suggesting that not only will banning tyre blankets be beneficial for the environment, it will be beneficial for the sport.

“Confused by some F1 drivers reluctance to ban tyre warmers,” he tweeted.

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“It makes for better racing, it highlights the skill of driving on cold tyres and it saves a ton of money/pollution from freight and energy consumption.

“The argument that it’s dangerous has been disproven in so many other four-wheeled motorsport, and recent claims that it’s less sustainable because you’d have to ‘use more fuel to put heat in the tyres’ are inaccurate.

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“Cold tyres mean less throttle use/higher lap times, which means less fuel consumption.”

Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen have both supported Lewis Hamilton’s arguments, stating that they are also against the potential ban.

These is a meeting planned in July, where a vote will take place to decide the future of tyre blankets.