FIA Considers Reinstating Tyre Changes Into F1
As Kimi Raikonnen celebrates what he has described as one of his best victories ever, the FIA is said to be considering a U-turn on its policy of keeping to one set of tyres per race weekend. Despite starting back in 17th on the grid, Raikonnen powered to victory on the last lap of the Japanese Grand Prix. Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella and Fernando Alonso filled the remaining podium places. Once again, Michael Schumacher’s seventh place Ferrari was the only Bridgestone shod vehicle to score points.
Meanwhile the FIA has suggested that teams could reinstate pit-stop tyre changes, something that is reported to have met with strong opposition from teams, McLaren boss Ron Dennis said.
The proposal was included in a list of possible changes to draft regulations for 2006 sent to team chiefs by the sport’s governing body, the FIA, during the Japanese Grand Prix. The new suggestions include a plan for a knockout qualifying format and other more controversial revisions.
Tyre changes were scrapped at the start of 2005 and Dennis warned: “If you change back, it means a massive tyre development program and a complete about-face on everything that has been done in the last year. We just about stabilised the one-tyre formula and now it is out the window again. All these changes cost a fortune and I think you have to look at everything and see how we can positively influence next year.”
The FIA seems to be moving towards a single tyre supplier in 2008, so plans to bring back tyre changes surprised many and left Red Bull Racing driver David Coulthard concerned about further changes: “I think there is a reasonable argument to say that it is safer to have tyre changes, but equally it has thrown up a change this season – it turned the results of Formula One on its head – so there are arguments for both.”