Dennis: Rule Changes will Cost a Fortune

McLaren chief Ron Dennis has warned the FIA to expect strong opposition to their proposal for a return to tyre changes in Formula One races next season after the controversial suggestion was revealed on Saturday

Dennis: Rule Changes will Cost a Fortune

Tyre changes were scrapped at the end of last year in an effort to save costs and Dennis believes the FIA's U-turn goes in the face of the long-term cost-cutting plans the sport is targeting.

"If you go down that route it means a massive tyre development programme and a complete about-face on everything that has been done in the last year," Dennis told Autosport-Atlas in the Suzuka paddock on Sunday.

"We just about stabilised the one-tyre formula and now it is out the window again. It just means a huge amount of testing and development again and it is just a huge amount of cost. All these changes cost a fortune."

The proposals were outlined by Minardi boss Paul Stoddart in a scheduled meeting of team bosses and drivers, when he read out an e-mail sent during the day that had not yet been seen by many of the other team bosses.

He said the tyre change proposal, and many of the other items on the agenda for 2006, proved a surprise to the drivers but Red Bull Racing driver David Coulthard immediately drew cause for concern.

"I don't have very strong views one way or another but over the last four or five years there have been so many changes and I am just nervous of continually changing regulations," said Coulthard.

"I think that the one tyre for the Grand Prix did not turn out to be quite as scary as it first appeared but we have all had difficulty with flat spotting tyres and having to run with poor visibility during Grands Prix.

"I think there is a reasonable argument to say that it is safer to have tyre changes, but equally it has thrown up a change this season, it turned the results of Formula One on its head, so there are arguments for both."

The single tyre rule had a significant part in changing the order of the grid this year, playing into the hands of Michelin and going against the formerly dominant World Champions Ferrari.

A change back to multiple tyres in a race could swing the balance the other way again but Dennis added: "I don't think that is so much the issue, I think one has to look at the whole thing and how we can positively influence next year."

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