Michelin is perplexed by the step backwards of the FIA’s F1 regulation for 2006, felt to be incoherent with the FIA’s proclaimed policy to reduce costs.
On October 26, 2005 the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council adopted new rules concerning the use of tyres in 2006: restoration of tyre changes during the race as well as increase in the number of tyres allotted per team. This is to be effective immediately for the 2006 season.
This urgent change, without advance notice:
Is incoherent with the cost reduction objectives sought by the FIA President
Is a step backwards in regards to the 2005 regulations presented, at the time, by the FIA solely for cost reduction purposes.
As a result, these new rules will immediately increase tyre development, production and logistics costs by 15% since, contrary to what has been said, the 2005 solutions can by no means be adapted to the new 2006 regulation. This decision reveals a lack of technical understanding of the product and of what a tyre really is.
In fact, tyre wear and grip are calculated to ensure an optimum performance for a specific distance. To switch from a tyre designed to run for 350 kms in 2005 to a tyre that can be changed every 100 kms (or less) in 2006 will require tyre manufacturers to design an entirely new generation of tyres and will therefore increase costs.
As many have said and written in the past few weeks, we can only question the meaning behind this decision which negates all of the benefits of Michelin’s research in 2005 to design a tyre capable of running for 350 kms, allowing its partners to win 18 races throughout the year.
Michelin, therefore, questions the FIA’s hidden motivations for the 2006 F1 regulation.
Once again, this event illustrates the F1’s problems of incoherent decision-making and lack of transparency.
In light of this situation, Michelin would like to thank its partner teams who did everything possible, unfortunately in vain, to inhibit a last minute new regulation returning, in fact, to previous regulations.
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