Formula 1 teams are considering a ban on tire warmers from as early as next year as part of a package of cost-saving measures.
With the FIA and teams currently involved in a consultation period to frame new regulations aimed at keeping finances in check, sources have revealed that one proposal being given serious thought is to outlaw tire blankets. Such a move, which was also considered a few years ago before being dropped because of safety concerns, would save teams money in both equipment expenditure and in freight costs.
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said that his company would be happy to produce tires that would work well without pre-heating, but said it would need some advance warning.
"It needs planning and you have to do it well, so it is something that if they want to do they have to do it very quickly," he explained. "What we have found in the past, when we have tried to discuss it, is that the drivers have tended to be worried about such a move, as they feel that it can create a safety issue. From our point of view, yes we can do it but we need time to do it, because it changes completely the compounds that you use."
Hembery believes that because of the time constraints – as well as the limitations imposed by it not having access to a 2012 car for private testing – it could be better for F1 if such a ban was imposed over two seasons. For 2013, he suggests, it could be possible to ban tire warmers on wet tires before a full ban on heating slicks for the following campaign.
"There might be some midway of being able to get rid of them on the wet tires because, by the time you get down the pit straight and it is raining, you have lost your temperature anyway. So possibly we could get halfway there quickly and progress to something different for 2014."