Formula One tyre supplier Bridgestone has made a step forward in producing tyres that can operate without the need for pre-warming, claims McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa.
With the use of tyre warmers set to be banned from the start of next season, Bridgestone has begun evaluating new rubber that will better be able to cope with the situation.
An earlier plan to ban tyre warmers for 2009 was delayed because of safety fears expressed by teams about the behaviour of the rubber when it was cold.
But the latest batch of tyres tried out at Jerez in Spain this week are much improved compared to those tried out last year says de la Rosa.
"It wasn't that bad," explained the Spaniard. "Bridgestone has brought new compounds which are designed to work at lower temperatures, so it wasn't so hard to bring them heat them up.
"After a long run they were very worn out, but this is normal. We were trying to complete the biggest number of laps per set."