Changes to the operations manual have been made ahead of next week’s Darwin Triple Crown, including a ban on heating tires in the sun.
An updated rule D17.1.16 now reads: “It is not permitted to use devices that artificially change the temperature in or on a control tyre, whether the control tire is mounted on a wheel or not.”
And rule 188.8.131.52 now reads: “Tires shall not be stored in direct sunlight, either in the paddock or in a team’s garage.”
A rule has also been created to clarify that tires can only be stored in Dunlop Tires assigned service areas, in a team’s shadow structure (located next to the vans) or in a team’s garage.
The move is in response to what is informally known as “baking” tires to lower real world pressures without violating minimum pressure rules.
The problem is particularly prevalent at the Darwin and Townsville rounds, where high ambient temperatures allow teams to sun-bake their tires to increase operating pressure and then deflate them back to a lower actual pressure.
This changes the shape of the tire and can reduce wear, which has been attributed to the super-soft compound’s disappointing debut at Darwin last year.
The changes will definitely be in effect for the next two events, Darwin and Townsville, and could also be made permanent.
The minimum pressure was also lifted for the events in Darwin and Townsville. Teams must have at least 20 psi pressure in their super soft tires, up from the standard 17 psi minimum.
For Northern Swing Rule D17.1.17 it states: “The minimum allowable pressure of a control tire when fitted to a car is 20psi, which must be achieved at all times when the car is on the circuit during a session.”