Michelin hits back at illegal tyre claims

Michelin has hit back at claims made by Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn that its tyres were illegal, insisting that they fully complied with the previous interpretation of the F1 regulations

Michelin hits back at illegal tyre claims

The tyre supplier has been forced to alter the construction of tyre it will run in next weekend's Italian Grand Prix after the sport's governing body, the FIA, altered the way it will govern the rules concerning the width of front tyres. Tyres will now be measured after the race, as well as before.

However, Brawn had suggested that Michelin's current tyres had been illegal in previous races this season, a claim that Michelin strongly denies.

In a letter to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, Michelin said: "The FIA has always authorised all our front tyres whose 'tread width must not exceed 270mm'. This measurement has been taken by the FIA on new tyres, as stated in the FIA Sporting Regulations article 77C."

Michelin added that "it is not for Ross Brawn to decide the legality of Michelin's tyres."

Sam Michael, Williams chief operations engineer, reiterated Michelin's claims that its tyres were legal under the previous rule interpretation. He said: "The FIA have changed their interpretation and will now measure front tyres when old as well as new. It is important to clarify that Michelin tyres have never been illegal."

Michael added that he was happy with the developments made to the French company's tyres during this week's test at Monza. "We have made good progress on casings and compounds as part of our normal long term development programme," he said. "As a result of the progress we have made together with Michelin this week, we will be bringing good improvements to the tyres for the Italian Grand Prix."

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