Max Verstappen demands FIA reverse controversial decision

This weekend's Mexican Grand Prix will see 2023 prototype tyres used once again in an extended FP2.

Newly crowned double World Champion Max Verstappen has called for the 2024 tyre-blanket ban to be scrapped, after almost spinning in the pit-lane due to the sheer lack of grip.

The FIA’s plan has been to slowly lower the temperatures that the tyre blankets are allowed to work at, meaning that eventually they’ll simply not be used.

As is currently planned, tyre-blankets will be banned from 2024, with the temperatures allowed having been reduced this season, before a further deduction for 2023.

Prior to the plan, front tyre-blankets were allowed to be at 100C, whilst the rears were allowed to be at 80C.

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This season both the front and rear tyre-blankets have been set to a 70C limit, with the current plan being to lower this to 50C next season, before they are scrapped in 2024.

The 50C temperature was actually trialled last weekend at the United States Grand Prix during FP2, where the session was prioritised to testing Pirelli’s prototype 2023 tyres.

FP2 will once again this weekend be extended to 90 minutes to allow for further testing of the 2023 prototype tyres; however, the tyre blankets are allowed to be kept at 70C, rather than 50C, according to The Race.

Verstappen is not a fan of the FIA’s plan to scrap tyre blankets and is certain that there will be a “lot of crashes” if the plan is followed through.

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“Then I think we’re going to have a lot of crashes,” said Verstappen.

“It’s tough. Your tyre degradation is going to be completely different because your tyres are very cold, you’re sliding around a lot in the first few laps, your tyre pressures are going to go through the roof, so your tyres are going to deg a lot more.

“At the moment I don’t really enjoy it, but a lot of drivers say the same and we have to of course find a solution to that.

“Austin is still a track where you can easily switch on the tyres because of the high-speed corners.

“But if you go to a track like a street circuit, like Monaco, can you imagine half-and-half conditions, I think it’s going to take like half the race before you have temperature in your tyres.”

McLaren’s Lando Norris also gave his verdict on the tyre-blanket plan and agreed with Verstappen that it will result in “everyone” crashing, especially given the fact the drivers had no grip during FP2 last weekend at one of the best circuits for tyre warm-up.

“Yeah, there would be,” Norris told The Race.

“This was like the best possible conditions to have these tyres: super-warm, hot track temp, high-speed first sector to get the temp in. And they were not nice. So easy to front lock, so easy to rear lock, completely unpredictable.

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“Imagine going to a much colder race track, or if it’s a little bit damp or something.

“Everyone’s going to shunt the car at some point.

“No driver wants it, basically.”