Pirelli tires during the Japanese GP at Suzuka on Thursday September 21, 2023 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Steven Tee / LAT Images)

Formula 1 News: FIA decides to keep Tire Blankets

Wisely, the FIA has ignored the tree-huggers and decided to retain tire blankets through the 2025 season, and perhaps forever.

The fourth and final meeting of the Formula 1 Commission in 2023 took place today, 24 November, at the Yas Marina Circuit ahead of the season-closing FIA Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Among the key topics for discussion were the format of the Sprint events for 2024 and beyond, future tire strategy and driver cooling. The meeting was chaired by FIA Single-Seater Director Nikolas Tombazis and Formula 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali.

The following is an overview of the key discussion points and decisions.

2024 Sprint Format

The Commission gave overall support for an update to the Sprint Format for 2024 to further rationalize the weekend by separating Sprint activities from those for the Grand Prix. The final calendar for the 2024 Sprint events will be published in the coming weeks.

The Sporting Advisory Committee will work through specific details, particularly regarding timing and parc fermé regulations, for a final proposal to be presented to the F1 Commission for the first meeting of 2024.

Wet Weather Package / Spray-reduction tests

The Commission members acknowledged the importance of this project, and a further test will take place in spring of 2024. This test will use a cover design that completely envelopes the tire, in order to establish a proof of concept for the wheel cover with these cars and help define the future direction of the project.

Tire strategy

The Commission agreed that the direction for development for future tires should be focused on reducing issues of overheating and improving the raceability of the tires, and therefore the decision was taken to keep tire blankets for 2025 and remove the relevant appendices to the Sporting and Technical Regulations that required a further decision to be taken in July 2024.

Following the trial of an Alternative Tire Allocation at two events this season, the Commission elected to stay with the standard 13 sets of dry tires for the 2024 season, with the relevant sections of the Regulations regarding ATA to be removed.

Driver cooling

Following the extreme temperatures experienced during the 2023 FIA Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix, the Commission has approved updates to the Technical Regulations to permit a scoop to increase driver cooling to be fitted to the car. Additional analysis is being carried out for supplementary cooling options for more extreme conditions.

Updates to the Technical and Sporting Regulations

A safety-related update to the Technical Regulations was approved, mitigating the danger created by metallic components in the floor, should they become detached, by limiting their mass and number.

Other minor updates to the 2024 Technical and Sporting Regulations were approved by the Commission.

Financial Regulations – Sustainability Initiative Costs

The Commission approved further refinements regarding the exclusion of Sustainability Initiative Costs from the Financial Regulations. This specifically refers to costs that are attributable to defining and identifying sustainability objectives and the strategy envisaged to achieve these objectives, and the monitoring, collation and production of reports to measure progress against carbon footprint and emissions targets and overall ESG sustainability objectives.

Development of the 2026 car

The Commission agreed that no work may be carried out on the development of a car for the 2026 season before the start of 2025.

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