The British hotshot, George Russell is known for raising objections and criticizing the higher-ups when in need. This time the issue raised is concerning everyone from a mechanic to the tyre manufacturers.
The agenda at hand is whether Tyre warmers should be banned in light of sustainability issues or not. Firstly, let us understand what a tyre warmer’s functions are.
Tyre warmers are tools used in F1 to increase the tyre temperature before a race or qualifying session. This is done to ensure that the tyres are at their optimum operating temperature, which will naturally lead to better performance, grip, and acceleration.
Mercedes ace’s sound warning to F1
George Russell has told the media that F1 is not yet ready to abandon tyre warmers, as such a move will increase the number of crashes and be extremely dangerous for mechanics.
George Russel along with Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, and Charles Leclerc, took part in a testing series in Barcelona to find out how the car feels without tyre warmers.
After the test, George Russel told the media ;
“If I’m being totally honest, I don’t think we as a sport are in a position to bring these tyres into a racing scenario, I will be very concerned for all the mechanics in the pit lane during a pitstop, I’d be very concerned for the out-lap in a race in cold conditions. There will be crashes, I have no doubt about it. There’s a lot of work and expense going into these tyres I feel like that could be put elsewhere.”
GPDA director, George Russell wary of crashes following speculated F1 ban
Following the test series held in Barcelona, George Russell who is also the GPDA director confirmed that without the tyre warmers, the chances of crashes would significantly increase.
To gain a holistic perspective, the opinions raised by other drivers on the same agenda were crucial too.
“I think it’s dangerous, I’ve tested the ‘no-blankets’ and yeah, there’s going to be an incident at some stage. So in a safety factor, I think it’s the wrong decision.” Lewis Hamilton told the media.
The irony at hand is that the tyre warmers are being abandoned for reducing carbon footprint but at the same time with the absence of tyre warmers, drivers will need to conduct more laps, burning more fuel to get the tyre temperature ideal.
There are flaws with this decision as pointed out by George Russell and hopefully, the FIA takes due cognizance of the same. The FIA is yet to take a concrete decision regarding the agenda but reports suggest that the verdict will be out in the coming month.
Yet drivers will remain hopeful with the tyre warmers staying on for at least until the 2024 season.