Following last weekend's European Grand Prix, where McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen crashed out on the last lap, FIA president Max Mosley has written to the Formula One teams to remind them of their safety responsibilities. There has been some debate...
Following last weekend's European Grand Prix, where McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen crashed out on the last lap, FIA president Max Mosley has written to the Formula One teams to remind them of their safety responsibilities. There has been some debate about the safety of the 2005 tyre rules, which were highlighted when a flat-spot on Raikkonen's tyre eventually led to a suspension failure.
"It should not be forgotten that a mechanical failure at high speed may involve a degree of risk to the spectating public," Mosley said in the letter. "If you are in any doubt about your car, you should always call it in. If you are still in doubt after checking the car in the pits, you should retire it from the race."
Mosley said that he was not criticising McLaren for not bringing Raikkonen in for a tyre change -- a decision that most other teams would probably have also taken in the circumstances -- nor did he want to feed the "hysteria" about tyres, but felt it right to remind the teams of safety issues.
"The rules of Formula One have always left it to each team to judge how far to go in balancing performance against mechanical integrity," he added. "Equally, when a car's mechanical integrity has, or may have, been compromised by a race incident, it is for the team to decide whether to continue, make a pit stop or retire."
"The race director does of course have the option of a black and orange flag but would use this only in an extreme situation. The team is always better placed to assess the risks than anyone in race control."
Mosley also wrote to tyre manufacturers Michelin and Bridgestone to ask them to be stringent about tyre reliability. He said the FIA, which lacks the technical knowledge to fully assess the tyres, relied on the suppliers "to ensure that no risks are taken in the pursuit of performance."