Ferrari owns up to tyre complaint

Ferrari owns up to tyre complaint

Technical director Ross Brawn has admitted it was Ferrari that lodged the complaint with the FIA about the dubious legality of Michelin tyres after the Hungarian Grand Prix. Ferrari claims that photographs presented to the team by its tyre...

Technical director Ross Brawn has admitted it was Ferrari that lodged the complaint with the FIA about the dubious legality of Michelin tyres after the Hungarian Grand Prix. Ferrari claims that photographs presented to the team by its tyre supplier Bridgestone showed the Michelin front tyres are too wide after use.

Ross Brawn.
Photo by Ferrari Media Center.
"It started in Budapest when Bridgestone got hold of some photos taken in the paddock by a Japanese," Brawn told Gazetta dello Sport during testing at Monza this week. "They showed in an unequivocal way that the front Michelin tyres had an excessively large tread at the end of the race or after being used."

"We turned to (race director) Charlie Whiting who, on the basis of his measurements and the photos, then sent the letter. We could have pretended to have seen nothing, to not let the FIA know and then lodged a complaint at the following race, but that didn't seem like the right thing to do."

Brawn added that he hoped the situation would be resolved without Ferrari having to protest again after Monza: "I hope it does not come to that, that Michelin realise that they have enjoyed an illegal advantage for so long, too long, and that they conform to what the FIA sets out. In any case, it's a problem for the sporting authorities."

Stack of Michelin tires.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
What is unexplained is why, if Ferrari believes Michelin has had an 'illegal advantage' for some time, the matter was never acted on before. Leaving it this late in the season inevitably leads to claims that Ferrari has engineered the situation for its own gain. The tyre rule certainly benefits Ferrari more than any of the other Bridgestone teams, who are not in the Championship fight.

Brawn admitted that Michelin's tyres could not be blamed Ferrari's less than competitive performances lately: "You can't say that," he said. "But it's clear that if you take an advantage like that away from the competition you'll find yourself in a better position."

Recently FIA president Max Mosley said that Ferrari had met with the sport's governing body regarding the situation but denied it had any influence on the FIA's decision. "The subject was mentioned but not discussed in any detail," he told the British press. "The visit had no influence on tyre measurement."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ross Brawn
Teams Ferrari