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FIA admits 2020 tyre choice process "not perfect"

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FIA admits 2020 tyre choice process "not perfect"
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Nov 22, 2019, 10:47 AM

FIA single-seater technical boss Nikolas Tombazis admits that the way the choice of Pirelli's 2020 Formula 1 tyres is being finalised is "not perfect."

The definitive choice of 2020 construction was supposed to be formally communicated to the teams by September 1st, so that they have plenty of time to adjust their aero programmes for a new shape.

However, the process was delayed until October to allow for further testing.

When the definitive new 2020 tyres were subsequently trialled in practice in Austin, the feedback was so negative that there was a call from some teams to stick with the proven 2019 construction.

By way of compromise, the FIA has agreed with teams that the planned 2020 tyre test in Abu Dhabi goes ahead so that more data can be gathered, and that if there are still negative views, a vote will be undertaken.

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If seven or more teams want to go back to the 2019 tyres, the new construction will be abandoned.

"As explained to the team principals [in Brazil], I'm not suggesting that how it's been done is the best way and that it's all perfect," Tombazis told Motorsport.com.

"I'm not expecting clapping and cheering! But last year we were faced in June or July with a big brouhaha about the tyres and people wanting to change them in the middle of the year, on the basis of a vote. The alternative was to just keep the current tyres and do nothing.

"And to avoid similar whinging next year, and cries for different constructions or whatever, then I felt at least to get it right in December or late November was better than discussing it in May or June during a championship.

"People revise their opinions on the basis of their competitive position. All these sort of things are not perfect, but it's the less awkward way to handle it."

Tombazis confirmed that the FIA will conduct a vote after the Abu Dhabi test if teams are still unhappy.

"If the outcome of that is that teams say, 'Oh, no, really, you know, we don't see any benefits,' and so on, then they have the right to vote them out with seven out of 10. If on the other hand hopefully the tyres do prove to be beneficial, we're left with an advantage for the sport.

"The change of tyres has to be instigated by the FIA. So, if we see that there's massive whinging about the tyres, then we will ask there to be a vote.

"If we see that basically people are happy, and the tyres are overheating less and achieving all the various advantages that they're supposed to do, then we will not instigate a vote."

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Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper