Michelin intends to use the same tyres it has been using all season at the upcoming Italian Grand Prix and says it sees no reason to change them in light of the FIA's recent stance on tyres. The sport's governing body ruled that tyre width will...
Michelin intends to use the same tyres it has been using all season at the upcoming Italian Grand Prix and says it sees no reason to change them in light of the FIA's recent stance on tyres. The sport's governing body ruled that tyre width will now be measured after races as well as before in order to make sure the rubber conforms to the 270 mm width rule.
Reportedly there was a complaint after the Hungarian GP that Michelin's front tyres had worn down to an unacceptable level and were over the 270 rule. The FIA has since made the change to measure tyres after races but Michelin insists it has done nothing wrong and will continue to use its current tyres.
Michelin's F1 Project manager Pascal Vasselon told Gazetta dello Sport: "Our tyres have always been considered legal so we have no reasons to modify them and we are contesting the new interpretation of the rules by the FIA. The tyres for the Italian Grand Prix were manufactured just after the Budapest race so we don't have enough time to modify our development and fabrication programme."
If Michelin's tyres fail to pass the FIA tests after the race, it's theoretically possible the ten cars that run on the manufacturer's tyres could be disqualified. "It's a strange situation because the FIA didn't explain to us how they will inspect the tyres, but if the FIA want to disqualify 10 cars at the end of the Italian GP, then they can do it." Said Vasselon.
It seems unlikely that Michelin and its partner teams would be willing to risk such a disqualification -- or perhaps they are calling the FIA's bluff. Testing commences this week and no doubt tyre work will be one of the more important aspects of the schedules.