Russell claims F1 rule change will cause more crashes

Russell claims F1 rule change will cause more crashes

George Russell claims that if the ban on controversial tyre blankets was to be put into effect, “there will be crashes.”

Mercedes driver George Russell has criticized a potential new regulation that may be implemented in Formula One following teammate Lewis Hamilton’s concern over the proposed change.

The use of tyre blankets has seen many attempts to get outlawed since the 1980s, and the most recent attempt might be enforced for the 2024 season. Their original purpose was to accelerate the rate at which tires reached the optimal temperatures suitable for racing.

Pirelli which is F1’s official tyre supplier, has been experimenting with new rubber while supporting a ban to help the environment and cut costs. Some drivers, however, are opposed to the new ideas because they believe that the tyres’ lower temperature will result in significantly less grip during racing.

Mercedes driver George Russell is one of them and has issued a stern warning regarding the possible repercussions of a ban.

“If I’m being totally honest, I don’t think we as a sport are at a position yet to bring these tyres into a racing scenario,” Russell said. “I would be very concerned for all the mechanics in the pit lane during a pitstop.

“I’d be very concerned for the out lap from a race in cold conditions. There will be crashes, I have no doubt about it.

“And I think there’s a lot of work, expense, development going into these tyres. I feel like that could be put elsewhere.”

This comes after Russell’s teammate Lewis Hamilton also voiced his disapproval of the new ideas.

“I think it’s dangerous,” the seven-time world champion told Autosport. “I’ve tested the no blankets, and there is going to be an incident at some stage. So, I think it is the wrong decision.

“You have to drive multiple laps to get the tyres to work. The whole argument is that taking away the blankets is going [to be] more sustainable and more green, but in actual fact we just burn more fuel to get the temperature into the tyres.

“The more concern is when you go out: you are skating around and it is very twitchy. If someone else is on tyres that are working, you can easily collide with them. So, it is a pointless exercise.”

While there has been protest to the blanket ban on tires, testing of Pirelli’s new rubber compound has continued on. Wet tires without blankets were first used in racing at the Monaco Grand Prix last month after being introduced earlier in the season.

The dry-tyre variants have also been put to the test by drivers. In the days following the race, Russell, one of the group of drivers who tested the tyres in Barcelona expressed his concerns about safety with the tyres.

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