'Enhanced' tires for Ferrari?

Michelin motor racing boss Pierre Dupasquier accused Ferrari of using chemically treated tires during the final two rounds of the world championship, helping Michael Schumacher put on what the Frenchman described as "incomprehensible" performances...

Michelin motor racing boss Pierre Dupasquier accused Ferrari of using chemically treated tires during the final two rounds of the world championship, helping Michael Schumacher put on what the Frenchman described as "incomprehensible" performances in both qualifying and the race.

"From the Indianapolis race there has been a particular smell from the Ferrari's tires. Everyone knows that certain products used to speed up performances generate this", said Dupasquier, "everyone knows that certain products used to speed up performances generate this." The French tire boss was presumably referring to a chemical added to a tire's surface to increase its grip.

"How else can you explain Schumacher's incredible early laps? Seeing as nobody has complained about it, we will adapt our approach accordingly".

However, Bridgestone also have a point to make at the end of the first season with tyre two suppliers since 1998. Differences in the construction of the two makes of rubber forced Michelin-supplied teams to begin races on scrubbed tyres to enhance performance, and at the end of some races certain tyres had been worn down to such an extent that they were almost like illegal slicks.

There are FIA guidelines regarding the amount of groove to be left on a tyre at the end of a race, and it is rumoured that sometimes Michelin-supplied teams came close to overstepping this mark. Tires are expected to be central to several debates between team bosses over the winter, and new rules are expected as a result.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher
Teams Ferrari