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Todt: Bridgestone More Conservative

Bridgestone have interpreted the 2005 tyre regulations more conservatively than rivals Michelin, according to Ferrari chief Jean Todt. 

"The one tyre rule is a tough one," Todt said at the Nurburgring yesterday, after the European Grand Prix, which once again saw tyres play a direct factor in the race's outcome. "We have interpreted that in a conservative way, that's why we pay the costs in qualifying.

"It seems that no tyre manufacturer so far has been able to achieve 100 per cent of the new rules. You have one tyre company who is doing a better job in qualifying and a worse job in the race, and the other one is achieving a worse job in qualifying and a better job in the race. Better... I don't want to use the word safer, you know, because then we get into political areas."

Drivers must use a single set of tyres for qualifying and the race, which has led to several tyre-related failures this year, most notably in yesterday's European Grand Prix, where race leader Kimi Raikkonen crashed on the last lap of the race due to a suspension failure that was caused by a flat-spotted tyre.

But while many in the F1 paddock were quick yesterday to suggest the tyre regulations need urgent revision, Todt said that it was too early to determine whether the rule should be changed or not and suggested the regulations may actually prove beneficial to the sport.

"It's not good criticising anybody, because when you implement a rule you have to leave that rule for a while before finding out how good or bad it is," he said. "And it seems it is a tough rule.

"The problem is that the competition is so tough, so you try to go to the limit with every single ingredient of your car.

"I think the true story is that here at the Nurburgring, nobody has been driving here. So you arrive and it's a question mark. You come with two choices of tyres. First of all, you don't know if that will be a good choice, that's why, since the beginning of the year you have seen some very strange situations sometimes.

"Look at Monte Carlo. In Monte Carlo, during the race, some cars were four seconds, five seconds off the pace. It's quite self-explanatory, but it probably wasn't the best choice of tyres.

"For us, we have sometimes had no grip for qualifying, so we pay for that, and it's less spectacular, but then during the race it works. We don't know what will be [the right choice of] tyres in the next race. It is much more unpredictable."

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