Michelin teams seek tyre solution

The leading Michelin-supplied Formula 1 teams, Williams-BMW and McLaren-Mercedes, have met with the sport's governing body, the FIA, to find a solution to the tyre ruling that threatens to overshadow the World Championship showdown

Michelin teams seek tyre solution

According to a report in today's Guardian newspaper, the FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting met with McLaren chiefs Ron Dennis and Martin Whitmarsh, plus Williams heavyweights Frank Williams and Patrick Head. They believe that the recent ruling to measure the width of the contact patch of front tyres after each grand prix will ruin their chances, as the cars will require completely different set-ups to accommodate the new rubber.

"Potentially, this whole affair is throwing the World Championship out of the window for both of us," Whitmarsh told the Guardian. "We talked at length to Charlie but there is still a considerable concern about the issue of approving the tyres' conformity at the end of the race, even though Michelin have produced some new rubber which we tested at Monza last week.

"Put simply, we can either use the existing tyres, and risk not conforming with these revised rule interpretations, or we can use new tyres and still risk being illegal despite a loss of performance. Michelin has done a great job, but the changes in set-up we have had to make - to toe-in, camber and tyre pressures - have not worked to our advantage."

McLaren and Williams argued that the new ruling would simply hand the championship to Ferrari and Michael Schumacher. But last week FIA president Max Mosley told AUTOSPORT: "The FIA is merely attempting to ensure a level playing field for all competitors. It is our duty to do this."

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