The decision to impose a tear-off strip ban in Formula 1 set to be introduced at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix remains up in the air. Ahead of the weekend, it was decided that drivers were not allowed to throw the tear-off strips away and were required to find alternative ways of disposal.
Mercedes executive technical director Paddy Lowe said on Thursday that a decision had been made to allow drivers to use two tear-offs during a race, but it has emerged that further discussions are taking place regarding the ban.
The subject was discussed at the drivers’ briefing on Thursday with Daniil Kvyat revealing talks were continuing.
“There is some optimization going on between the FIA and the teams to try and work out the best solution,” he said. “The last thing you want on a track like Monaco is to be blinded by the oil which goes between layers of tear-offs.”
Jenson Button described the ban as “a bit silly” and Kvyat agreed and suggested the discussions were childish.
“It’s a bit of kindergarden talk to be honest,” he said. “Whether we use one, two or 10, for me it’s quite straightforward: You need to use tear-offs on track sometimes. On lap two or three, especially if you’re not on pole and you’re following many other cars, there is so much oil coming that you urgently need to take a strip off. You cannot box [pit] for that on lap three or four because you lose your race.
“If the FIA really wants us to do it, they should come up with something that will explain how to keep it inside [the car] or it will not happen. For safety reasons, for the vision, we need it. We can have an agreement where we use as few as possible, but when it’s really necessary we need to use them.”