Decision to ban tyre blankets from F1 for 2021 reversed

The decision to ban tyre blankets from Formula 1 when new 18-inch wheels are introduced in 2021 has been reversed

Decision to ban tyre blankets from F1 for 2021 reversed

A ban on blankets has been a key part of the move to 18-inch tyres since it was announced, but recently Pirelli has been pushing to keep them to make the transition to the new size easier, and to aid tyre development.

Teams in general are also keen to keep them as learning how to engineer their cars to deal with the lack of blankets is an extra challenge that they will no longer have to face.

Plans are still in place, however, to phase blankets out once F1 has stabilised after the raft of changes for 2021.

"In 2021 we have big changes," Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola told Autosport.

"We have a new car, a new aero package, we have new tyres, a new size and so on.

"The idea is to have a transition and remove the blankets, but over a period of time.

"So in 2021 we keep the blankets, in order to have a reference, and then step by step we will go in that direction of not having them.

"When we discussed it I don't remember any strong opposition.

"The discussion was quite clear and transparent, analysing the pros and the cons of the decision, and we agreed that it is beneficial for the sport to continue, and have this transition."

A downside for the teams is that they now face the unexpected expensive of buying blankets for the new tyres, when the ban was originally seen as a cost saving measure.

There has also been a discussion about introducing a standard tyre warming system, but teams are keen to keep the control units that they have already invested in, even if they have to buy new blanket sizes.

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