Todt Urges for Tyre Rule Re-Think

Ferrari boss Jean Todt has pleaded with Formula One rulers, the FIA, to vote "immediately" to ditch their controversial tyre rule ahead of Wednesday's Technical Working Group meeting.

Todt Urges for Tyre Rule Re-Think

Ferrari boss Jean Todt has pleaded with Formula One rulers, the FIA, to vote "immediately" to ditch their controversial tyre rule ahead of Wednesday's Technical Working Group meeting.

Ferrari's World Champion driver Michael Schumacher was one of eight men who crashed out of last Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix because their teams were not allowed to fit the right tyres for the slippery conditions. He said that a new regulation which bans tyre manufacturers from taking more than one wet weather specification is dangerous.

"We simply must go back to last year's rules," said Todt. "We have the choice of two tyres in the dry so we should have the same choice in the wet. How can you guess what the rain will be? It can be pouring or it can just be humid. To be condemned with only one wet tyre in conditions like the ones in Brazil is not good.

"We (Ferrari) were always completely against it. Voting it through - not unanimously as some people said - was a big mistake."

Torrential rain at the Interlagos circuit in Brazil left drivers concerned about their safety and several top stars - including Schumacher and Scot David Coulthard - signed a petition against driving in the rain. The tyre suppliers, Michelin and Bridgestone, were both forced to choose their wet tyre for Brazil well before any accurate weather forecasts could predict the storms that rained down on the Interlagos circuit.

Both chose to take the intermediate tyre, which copes well in damp conditions rather than heavy rain. But despite the problems the FIA are likely to take a firm stance and may not give in to the teams' pleas. In Brazil, where rain delayed the race before it started behind the Safety Car, the FIA simply said: "Given the wet weather commonly experienced in Brazil it is surprising the teams decided to bring intermediate tyres."

But Todt, along with most of the Grand Prix paddock, is concerned that a similar situation could occur again this season if the problem is not sorted out immediately.

"Sometimes decisions can be taken very quickly and in this situation it is logistically very easy," he added. "The tyre companies just have to bring two specs of tyres."

The sport's Technical Working Group, which is made up of technical directors from each of the 10 teams on the Grand Prix grid, will meet with FIA race director Charlie Whiting in London to discuss the matter on Wednesday. The team chiefs were due to meet two days later, on Friday, to confirm their decisions, but have now delayed their discussion until next week's San Marino Grand Prix.

That, however, would be too late for the tyre manufacturers to arrange an extra shipment of rain tyres in time for the race in Imola so the technical bosses are likely to push the FIA for an early decision.

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