Byrne cautious about return of slicks

Ferrari designer Rory Byrne has voiced concerns about the increased safety risk should slick tyres be re-introduced to Formula One. Bernie Ecclestone has recently advocated bringing back slicks but the idea has met with mixed reactions. Grooved ...

Ferrari designer Rory Byrne has voiced concerns about the increased safety risk should slick tyres be re-introduced to Formula One. Bernie Ecclestone has recently advocated bringing back slicks but the idea has met with mixed reactions. Grooved tyres were introduced for safety reasons but in the bid to spice up the flagging entertainment in F1, slicks could make a return.

"If slicks are re-introduced there will be a reasonable increase in cornering speeds and a reduction in lap times and that will clearly be a safety concern," said Byrne, according to Reuters. "We would need to speak with Bridgestone and have their input on the amount of grip we would get and whether our suspension could handle it. I would imagine there would be quite a significant increase in grip."

Byrne, who has designed Ferrari's championship winning cars for four years, said it was too late for a change to tyres for 2003 as teams have already have new cars ready for next year. Also, he cautioned against anything that would drive costs up.

"Certainly there could not be a change for next year as people have already designed their cars and there is no scope for change. We are far too far in for 2003. Something new could be brought in for 2004 and I would find the challenge interesting. But people keep saying the regulations must remain stable to keep the costs down and every time we change them, the teams with more resources are better off."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone
Teams Ferrari