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Dennis Expects Late Decision

McLaren boss Ron Dennis believes the decision on whether the seven Michelin teams will race in Sunday's United States Grand Prix will not be made until just two hours before the race start on Sunday

Dennis said Michelin and its partners will be investigating data into the night to try and find the cause of the problems but called for a "composed approach" and blamed Toyota for amplifying the situation.

"We will have more information tomorrow and I doubt a decision will be taken before 11 o'clock tomorrow morning," said Dennis. "We have to take into consideration the safety of the drivers.

"Clearly it is an option not to start the race, but we will wait for the maximum information to be available before we make our decision. For now, it is not possible for us to give an answer.

"The tyres that failed have been run at low pressure and the problem has been amplified by a team that, as far as I understand, chose to run the tyre pressures outside the recommended limit."

Dennis admitted that the solution "could be as simple as keeping tyre pressures at a higher level" as the teams were instructed to do, along with other set-up changes, in qualifying on Saturday afternoon.

But concerns remain over how the increased pressure in the tyres will affect their performance over long distance and Michelin are still persisting with efforts to bring in a new specification for the race.

"The tyre proposed was raced in Barcelona and its construction is the same," said Dennis. "The only thing is that it would eliminate the possibility of batches of inferior product used in construction.

"The compound is significantly different, but that affects performance not safety. The question is should we be penalised if we use it, and that is an open issue."

A change of tyre contravenes the regulations but Dennis suggested the Michelin runners may form in their current grid positions but behind the Bridgestone runners as a penalty.

But that is unlikely to be a satisfactory penalty for Bridgestone, who have taken a much more conservative approach to tyre development and have therefore not suffered any problems.

The best solution, and probably the most likely, would be for Michelin to find the reason for failure overnight and again offer teams a suggestion on how to set up their cars.

And Dennis added: "We know the tyres have been sent to Michelin's research centre in Southern Carolina and some of the technicians that were here are going with the tyres as well.

"Teams are working with Michelin to develop a matrix of all the Michelin cars and all the Michelin tyres and they are looking to see if there are any batch issues. We don't want hysteria over this."

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