Michael: Michelin Teams May be Divided

The Michelin teams could go separate ways on tyre choice for Sunday's United States Grand Prix, according to Williams technical chief Sam Michael

Michael: Michelin Teams May be Divided

Michelin has asked the FIA to allow them to use a different specification tyre to that used in qualifying, after failing to find an explanation for several failures in Friday practice.

But some teams believe their cars work well with the Indianapolis specification tyres and Michael believes not all the teams would choose to run a new specification given the opportunity.

Asked if all Michelin teams will do same, Michael said: "Not necessarily. No, I don't think it is necessarily a given that all Michelin teams will follow the same route.

"By tomorrow they will have analysed these tyres from other factors and perhaps it might give us some correlation that some cars are damaging tyres more than others.

"We have had no failures, running yesterday on low pressures, high pressures, running this morning as well with low fuel and high fuel, and we still haven't had any failures.

"So at the moment the decision as to whether we race Indy tyres or we race a new tyre that Michelin is flying out here tonight won't be taken until tomorrow morning."

Michael confirmed that not running in the race at all "is an option" but added: "As engineers we will do all we can to race but we will not do anything that compromises the safety of our drivers."

The tyres used for this weekend's race were tested at Monza and Michael confirmed that there were no problems suffered by the Williams team in that test.

Teams ran with higher pressures in the morning session in a bid to solve the problem but only when the data from those runs is analysed can they make a final decision on what to do.

"The most important thing is the analysis of the tyres we used this morning at higher pressures," said Michael. "If there is a fault with any of them it means that the pressure won't solve the problem.

"If we found something that conclusively showed the Indy tyres had a fault that could occur on any car, then clearly that would rule that tyre out."

That would then place the ball in the FIA's court, as they must then decide whether to allow Michelin to break the regulations and introduce a new tyre for the race.

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Series Formula 1
Author Will Gray
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