George Russell raises massive safety concern ahead of 2023 Canadian GP

A vote will take place at the end of July to decide if blanket-less tyres will be introduced next season.

Ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, George Russell has admitted that Formula 1 isn’t “at a position yet” to introduce blanket-free tyres, something the FIA are pushing to bring in next season.

Pirelli’s blanket-free tyres have been tested multiple times this season in preparation for their potential introduction next year, with Russell having trialled them last week after the Spanish Grand Prix.

Mercedes and Ferrari took part in a Pirelli tyre test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya last week, where he admits the tyres quickly performed at a “respectable level”.

However, the 25-year-old is concerned over how blanket-free tyres would perform at venues with lower track temperatures, given that it was an incredibly hot day during the test last week.

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Russell also trialled the tyres ahead of the season in Jerez, where the track temp was 10 degrees.

In those conditions, the Mercedes driver believes the blanket-free tyres aren’t safe due to how little grip there is when exiting the pits, leaving him “concerned for all the mechanics”.

“In hindsight, it probably wasn’t tested in the right conditions at the right circuit,” Russell explained, as reported by

“I think if you go to a circuit such as Barcelona, which is quite an aggressive Tarmac, it was 40-odd degree track temperature, fully rubbered from the race weekend.

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“The tyres were very sketchy coming out of the pit lane, but by about Turn 5 on the out lap, it was at a respectable level.

“But if I compare that in contrast with the start of the year, when I did one run in Jerez in 10-degree track temperature, it was extremely difficult getting out of the pits.

“And if I’m being totally honest, I don’t think we as a sport are at a position yet to bring these tyres into a racing scenario.

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“I would be very concerned for all the mechanics in the pit lane during a pitstop, I’d be very concerned for the out lap from a race in cold conditions.

“There will be crashes, I have no doubt about it. And I think there’s a lot of work, expense, development going into these tyres. I feel like that could be put elsewhere.”

Pirelli’s blanket-less tyres will be tested again at Silverstone following the British Grand Prix, before a vote takes place at the end of July to decide whether they will be introduced in 2024 or not.