Lewis Hamilton warns F1 drivers could be put at needless risk if tyre blankets are scrapped

A vote will be taken in July to decide the future of tyre blankets.

One of the key elements of performance in Formula 1 is tyre management, with the temperatures of the tyres in particular being vital.

During qualifying, the drivers can get their tyres up to the required temperature themselves by completing a number of warm up laps before they attempt a serious fast lap.

Drivers complete a blend of accelerating and braking to appropriately warm up the front and rear tyres, ensuring that the car is in a sweet spot with regards to grip by the time they begin their qualifying lap attempt.

During the race however, drivers do not have the luxury of being able to complete warm up laps, as they need to exit the pit lane and get straight up to racing speed.

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The teams currently are allowed to use tyre blankets to keep the tyres as warm as possible, ensuring that their drivers at least have a reasonable level of grip following their pit stops.

Due to concerns about cost and sustainability however, a ban on these blankets is being considered, something which will be decided in July following a vote from F1 officials.

Seven-time world champions Lewis Hamilton has now slammed this potential ban on tyre blankets, suggesting that the drivers’ lives would be put at risk if the tyre warming devices were removed from the paddock.

“It is dangerous,” claimed the 38-year-old.

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“When you go out, the car is skating around, it is very twitchy, and if someone else is on tyres that are working, you could easily collide with them. It is a pointless exercise.”

Drivers with cold tyres can often be seen sliding on the track due to their lap of grid, with damp conditions especially proving a problem.

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During wet races, drivers must ensure that they drive on the racing line as dipping into a wet patch will cool their tyres, taking them out of the sweet spot and drastically reducing their grip.

Without the use of tyre blankets, drivers will be heading onto the track during qualifying and races with stone cold tyres, making accidents almost inevitable according to Hamilton.

With the vote not scheduled until July, Hamilton will be hoping that Formula 1 take his concerns seriously and reconsider their stance on tyre blankets.