F1 drivers have been told that the tyres they wear in the pits will be upgraded to smart in an attempt to cut down on wear and tear.
The technology, called ‘situational awareness’, has been developed by F1 teams to aid driver safety.
The tyres are fitted with sensors to monitor tyre wear, allowing teams to automatically correct tyre wear over the course of races.
It will allow drivers to be more aware of the conditions in the pit lane and also help them get into the pits quicker.
F1 chiefs have been keen to boost the tyres’ durability in recent races, with a new race tyre, and the tyre is expected to be the subject of a new study by tyre manufacturer Michelin.
The tyre is said to be better than the current one, which was developed by Michelin to match the tyres worn by F2 drivers.
The new tyre is likely to be used in the 2018 season.
The upgrade is expected in the next few weeks and will be rolled out to all teams in 2019.
Drivers have been asked to wear smart tyres for the first time since the introduction of the tyres in 2010, after a number of drivers had to be carried on their backs to the pits for a tyre change.
However, F1 bosses have been cautious about the upgrade.
« The question of safety comes to the forefront as soon as the tyres are introduced, » said Sebastian Vettel, who will drive for Red Bull Racing for the third time in 2019, replacing Jenson Button.
« This is something that we need to think carefully about. »
The new tyres are expected to cost around $5,000 per tyre, with some teams using them for their race weekends.
F2 driver Jules Bianchi, who has previously used smart tyres, said that the upgrade could help drivers cope with the increased wear.
« We can see the tyres being worn more, especially in wet conditions, and this is good for the drivers, » he said.
« It’s good for us to be able to change the tyres when the race starts, and we can change them easily. »
Mercedes has also been cautious with the upgrade to the tyres.
« I think we’re not going to be using the tyres for too long, it will be a year or two, » said a Mercedes official.
« As soon as we can use them, we’ll be very happy. »