Formula 1 Racing

WEC allows one-off return for tyre warmers at Le Mans 24 Hours after crashes · RaceFans

WEC allows one-off return for tyre warmers at Le Mans 24 Hours after crashes · RaceFans

The ban on the use of tyre warmers in the World Endurance Championship will be relaxed for the series’ blue riband race at Le Mans next month.

The FIA and l’Automobile Club de l’Ouest has permitted the change as a one-off measure which will apply across all classes. It follows a series of crashes in the opening rounds of the championship.

Ferrari’s Antonio Fuoco crashed heavily during the last round of the championship at Spa-Francorchamps. Render van der Zande also suffered a race-ending shunt in his Cadillac.

The FIA and ACO said they had “conducted an in-depth evaluation of tyre usage data together with the FIA World Endurance Championship’s exclusive tyre suppliers Michelin and Goodyear” in reaching the decision.

“The exemption is limited to the 24 Hours of Le Mans only, ensuring that drivers of all experience levels will be able to compete in the safest possible environment regardless of track conditions and temperatures, while tyre manufacturers, teams and drivers will gain valuable time to develop better understanding of how to bring cold tyres up to temperature ahead of the remainder of the 2023 FIA WEC season,” the governing bodies stated.

The FIA is moving to outlaw tyre warmers in order to reduce energy consumption. It aims to do the same in Formula 1, where official tyre supplier Pirelli is developing new compounds designed to be used without tyre blankets. F1 teams will vote in July on whether to go ahead with the ban on tyre warmers in 2024.

WEC’s tyre heaters “will be powered by 100% sustainable fuel” at Le Mans, the FIA added. “Moving away from tyre warming was originally introduced as part of a long-term WEC tyre road map, developed in consultation with tyre manufacturers, and has been in the works over the last two years.”

The ban on tyre warmers will come back into force at the fifth round of the World Endurance Championship, the Six Hours of Monza, in July.

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