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Story of the tyre-warmer


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#1 Ali_G

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Posted 24 June 2001 - 15:05

From what I have heard Wiliams were the first team to use Tyre Warmers. But interestingly the team dd not come up with the idea. Some guy at home thought how a warm tyre coming out of the pits ould be a great idea.

Anyone know more info about this.

Niall

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#2 tompka

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Posted 24 June 2001 - 17:18

I have read somewhere that the tyrewarmers came from hillclimb racing, where in the short races it really did a good job, but don't know any specifics of when? where? and who? Does anybody?

#3 mhferrari

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Posted 24 June 2001 - 18:03

There was one article in F1 Racing, a year ago, which obviously cost me a pretty penny as I bought a English magazine in the US.

It did not mention hillclimbs, but it said about a guy who put them together in the 80's.

#4 david_martin

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Posted 24 June 2001 - 20:53

Lotus were the first F1 team to use tyre warmers, as far as I know - Senna used them at the 1985 European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch and got pole position.

#5 Ali_G

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Posted 24 June 2001 - 21:43

i heard it was Williams during hte 86 season.

Niall

#6 Frank de Jong

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Posted 26 June 2001 - 13:43

From the top of my head, the first time as far as I know was the Sauerland Hillclimb in Germany, fall 1973. This was part of the famous DRM championship, which was contested by works teams from BMW and Ford, so there was more than a passing interest of who was going to win this race. I think Zakspeed was the team which used it for Glemser, but I´m not sure. He didn´t even win...

The tyres were heated by means of gas burners, which normally were used for welding. Auto Motor und Sport showed a picture of this, if anyone is interested I can see if i can find it.

#7 FredF1

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Posted 26 June 2001 - 14:55

Wasn't it Brabham who first used to warm their tyres?

I think it was 1982.

I recall Clive James on the year in review video making quips about oven times etc.

#8 david_martin

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Posted 26 June 2001 - 15:10

Yes, I believe ovens were used to heat tyres for a while before the blanket type heaters were seen in the paddock. If the question is about blankets, then I still stand by my original answer of Lotus at the 1985 European Grand Prix.

#9 Yelnats

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Posted 26 June 2001 - 17:54

Actually in the pre Politically correct sixties we used to call our tire warmers honey or darling! They were otherwise known as pit poopsies and sat along the pit wall on piles of tires covered with our pit jackets. The tires used to get quite warm in there and always gave very satisfactory traction.:smoking:

#10 birdie

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Posted 26 June 2001 - 19:16

I always heard it was Piquet that came up with the idea of the blanket type ones. Whether that's true or not or if it was when he was at Brabham or Wiilliams I don't know.

#11 mikedeering

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Posted 26 June 2001 - 19:20

Modern F1 - it was Brabham in 1982 at the British GP hwne they also tried refuelling. They didn't use blankets - ovens as previosuly suggested. They didn't actually get to use them though - Piquet retired while leading after 9 laps.

I also agree Lotus were the first to try actual blankets and it was in 1985. I think they did it more for qualifying though as pit stops were rare then - helped Senna get a few poles tehn.

I read somewhere that at Brands Hatch in 86, just before the start, all the teams turned their blankets on at once and caused a power failure!

#12 Mr Melvin

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Posted 26 June 2001 - 21:41

I'm pretty sure it was Lotus who first used tyre warmers. My Uncle used to work for them back then and I'm sure he said it was his mate who thought the idea up and he helped him. I don't know if he was joking but it would explain why his mate now lives in NY and has a Ferrari. I have to ask him more about it.

#13 Barry Lake

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Posted 27 June 2001 - 06:51

Originally posted by Frank de Jong
The tyres were heated by means of gas burners, which normally were used for welding. Auto Motor und Sport showed a picture of this, if anyone is interested I can see if i can find it.


Frank

I think we should see a picture of this. It sounds like a possible motor racing "first" to me... as rsiky as such claims can be.

#14 Timekeeper

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Posted 27 June 2001 - 07:07

Below is a link to an article on their development. If this is right it would support Ali_G ie that they were introduced by Williams at the 1986 Spanish GP.
http://www.homestead...ershistory.html

The bit about Mansell being on pace eight laps sooner than anyone else seems a bit odd as Senna lead for the early part of the race. Nige actually dropped a few paces early on.

On the Formula 3 site, Piquet is quoted as saying he introduced them to Formula 1 after using them in F3.

I also seem to recall hearing once that McLaren rigged up some form of tyre warmer at the 1974 Canadian GP, which was won by Fittipaldi. This was just to get some heat into the tyres in the cold conditions. I haven't been able to find anything to confirm this.

Looking through the 1985 Autocourse and other material I can't find reference to them but there are certainly pictures of them during 1986. The Autocourse race report for the 1986 Spanish GP says that when Mansell needed to pit late in the race, there were four pre-heated tyres available for him. :)

#15 Frank de Jong

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Posted 27 June 2001 - 16:54

Originally posted by Barry Lake


Frank

I think we should see a picture of this. It sounds like a possible motor racing "first" to me... as rsiky as such claims can be.


Well, here we go. The picture shows four different solutions on that decisive day at Sauerland. 3 drivers could become champion: Dieter Glemser, Hans Heyer and Dieter Basche.
Posted Image

Ford (bottom right) used a sort of kettle, but because of troubles with electricity the tyres got no warmer than 65º. Zakspeed (top left) had a trailer with a sauna (!); 100º were easily reached, the Ford works tyres received the same treatment; other Ford teams were serviced as well. Klaus Fritzinger (top right) used a device normally used to heat a circus tent; Kremer (bottom left) used the gas burners I mentioned before.
The BMW teams were caught by surprise and couldn't heat the tyres.
On race day, it rained heavily. Ford's rain tyres were heated, of course. But in the end, nerves, engine troubles and driving errors made Glemser champion.

#16 jarama

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Posted 19 August 2003 - 22:28

I've resurfaced this thread, 'cause I've just found a brief note in the french magazine "Sport-Auto" (#190, November '77) about a french guy -incidentally from Le Mans- named Antoine Vela as the inventor of the tyre warmer through electrical blankets.

Carles.

#17 Lotus23

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Posted 19 August 2003 - 23:37

Slightly OT, but who here recalls when NHRA dragsters used to spin their slicks while running through puddles of flaming gasoline? Crude but effective, and certainly added to the show, esp at night.

Safety concerns eventually prevailed and the practice was outlawed.

#18 Ruairidh

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 00:00

I'm pretty positive it was Lotus who intro'd tire warming blankets into modern F1. I seem to recall Peter Warr being pretty smug about it.

#19 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 02:18

Originally posted by Lotus23
Slightly OT, but who here recalls when NHRA dragsters used to spin their slicks while running through puddles of flaming gasoline? Crude but effective, and certainly added to the show, esp at night.....


Yes, the only time I went to the drags (c1971) I saw this...

And, incidentally, this was the origin of the term 'burnout' which is used much more loosely today.

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#20 eldougo

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 06:58

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Frank de Jong
[B]

In the secound photo the GAS BURNER method was used in F3/F2? in 1978 by a german team at Thruxton april meeting they put the car up on stands and dropped a blanket cover on one side
and the wheels and tyres stood under the chassis it warmed the motor up, and also the tyres
and themself a great idea i thought as we stood in your tent FREEZING.It's the only track that
i watched cars going around when it was snowing :wave:

#21 Lotus23

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 01:52

eldougo, road racing in a snowstorm?

Out of more races than I can number in the past 57 years, just once for me as well: SCCA Runoffs @ Road Atlanta back when they were run in late November. Just during one race, and it was the last one of the day. I bundled up in everything I had: looked like Bibendum with binoculars!

#22 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 02:30

Didn't a Boxing Day Brands Hatch some time in the early sixties turn into a snowplough derby?

Well, metaphorically speeking, of course... I'm sure there was one of those meetings I read about where snow fell during a race.

Of course, you can have cold and wet and hail at Wakefield Park if you're there on the right day...

#23 provapr

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 10:13

Again, slightly off thread, but if I remember correctly, one rather dubious technique used in karting circles in the UK in the eighties was to coat the very hard Bridgestone control tyres with fuel in order to try and make them softer. Whether it worked on it I don't know, but it was quite amusing to watch it being done surreptitiously under awnings before a race.

#24 2F-001

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 11:16

It snowed quite a but during a Silverstone International Trophy race. '73 was it? I was there.

I've heard of hillclimbers trying to pre-heat tyres with hot-air paint strippers in the past... In British Hillclimbing, electric tyre warmers were banned quite a while back. Aside from the cost issue, many of our wet and rustic paddocks (with full public access) were considered unsuitable places for big numbers of generators and elecrtic cables lying all over the place. Besides, think of the noise - that would be terrible! :lol:
Also, the likelyhood of being held on the line because the previous runner had stopped or gone off the road made it very hit and miss anyway. With a 2WD car you can, of course, only warm the driven pair on the way to the line, so warmers would be genuinely useful - but I think Hillclimbing is much better off without them.

(re: Drag racing: I think I remember being told that draggers would spin the wheels in puddles of bleach rather than gasoline... is that right? - and if so, why?)

#25 312B

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 12:15

Hi there

I'm pretty sure it was Lotus as far as F1 goes and in early 85. I have a report by Nigel Roebuck for the Monaco GP of that year and it talks about the blankets short-circuiting before the start and blistering the front tyres that were in them, so Senna started from pole on warm rears and cold fronts.

Must have handled 'interestingly' for the first few laps

#26 AndreasL

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 16:07

Originally posted by Lotus23
eldougo, road racing in a snowstorm?


Not very historic or nostalgic, but at this race at Gelleråsen, it was alternately snowing and raining
Posted Image
The 8 hour race was shortened to 6 hours, with pace car (or rather pace cars, the first one ran out of fuel) during 2 hours, as the corner workers were called in to warm up for a while.

First time in a race car I've had cold toes and fingers!

/Andreas

#27 Lotus23

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 23:27

tony p, I'm not sure exactly what liquid's in the "bleach boxes" at dragstrips nowadays. You're right -- it was a bleach concoction at one time. And may still be. Maybe someone more up-to-date on current NHRA technology can answer this.

I do know that some gawdawful traction is generated during a Top Fuel quarter-mile pass. ISTR that they'll pull something like 5 or 6G's of acceleration, immediately followed by nearly that much deceleration once they pass the finish line and pop the chutes. Not for the timid!

#28 eldougo

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 06:32

[i]Originally posted by Lotus23

Out of more races than I can number in the past 57 years, just once for me as well: SCCA Runoffs @ Road Atlanta back when they were run in late November. Just during one race, and it was the last one of the day. I bundled up in everything I had: looked like Bibendum with binoculars! [/B]

looked like Bibendum with binoculars!

Lotus 23 what is BIBENBUM ????????? :up:

#29 2F-001

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 07:23

Monsieur Bibendum is the name of the ''fat man'' character (made of tyres) used as a trademark by Michelin. Not certain - but I assume the name comes from the large burgundy wine glass of the same name (and vaguely the same shape).

#30 jarama

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 10:12

tony,

I've read somewhere, that the Bibendum name comes from the latin verb Bibere (to drink). The relation between the verb and the tyres/tires :cool: comes from the easyness of the Michelin product to cope with the road difficulties, to say "drinking" the gravel, stones, tacks and other usual integrants of the roads in the early years of this century.

Carles.

#31 fines

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Posted 24 August 2003 - 10:18

Jarama is right, in early Michelin advertisements Bibendum was shown drinking glass splinters gleefully, while other tyre characters suffered... A bit excentric perhaps, but one of the best and most recognised ad campaigns of the time!

#32 eldougo

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 05:58

Originally posted by 2F-001
Monsieur Bibendum is the name of the ''fat man'' character (made of tyres) used as a trademark by Michelin. Not certain - but I assume the name comes from the large burgundy wine glass of the same name (and vaguely the same shape).



:rotfl: Thanks chaps for your replys , now i know what Lotus 23 was talking about. Good Line.

#33 doc540

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 14:18

Again, slightly offtopic.

My recollections:

Direct drive powertrains and tire compounds through the 50's and most of the 60's caused the tires to spin and smoke from starting line to finish line.

Then during the Super Stock wars of the early 60's, various solutions were created to paint on the tires to create better traction. (A very competitive time in drag racing as the major manufacturers used every possible advantage to win on Sunday to sell on Monday). It was quickly banned due to lack of control over the content of the solutions and the residue they left on the starting line.

Next came a change in tire compounds quickly followed by improvements in clutch technology allowing them to slip and apply power gradually. The long, smokey runs quickly became a thing of the past.

The earliest drive-through solutions were bleach and water (origins of the term "bleach box"). The fiery, fuel burnouts were for exhibition runs only and never used regularly in competition.

Before most drag runs today water is used to allow the tires to spin and heat from the friction, however some lower class cars without the special tire compounds just drive around the "water box" and launch without heating their tires.

The most recent technique used after the tire-heating burnout is an aggressive scraping of the tires to remove debris as they roll the final few feet to the staging lights. A rasp-type tool similar to a draw knife is used by two crewman on each side of the rear tires.

#34 ensign14

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 19:05

Originally posted by Timekeeper

On the Formula 3 site, Piquet is quoted as saying he introduced them to Formula 1 after using them in F3.

That may be partly correct. I have a comic in front of me with an article describing the new tyre blankets being used by Ron Dennis' Project 4 in Formula 3 on Chico Serra's car. They are described as looking like tea-cosies which is apt - it seems the tyres were warmed in an oven beforehand and the blankets placed over to retain heat. That pushes the date back to 1979. Nelson may have seen them used & suggested it to Brabham, although why would Dennis not use them in F1 in 1981? Not enough impact over a longer race distance?

#35 f1steveuk

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 19:12

I'm not certain who can take the full credit, but I know Gordon Murray said the "ovens" used in 1982 actually ruined the tyres, wrong type of heat, wrongly applied, or so he said.