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Michelin issue statement on tyre changes 29 Aug 2003

McLaren Michelin tyres marked up and ready for use.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, French Grand Prix, Preparations, Magny-Cours, France, 3 July 2003

Formula One racing tyre suppliers Michelin have released a statement following the news that the sport's governing body, the FIA, has written to all the teams, informing them of a change in the way that front-tyre tread width is checked.

Under the 2003 Sporting Regulations, the tread of each front tyre must be no more than 270mm wide (for more on these regulations, click here). Up until now this has been checked when the tyre is new. However, according to Michelin "the FIA wants us now to consider the width of the front contact patch after the tyre has been used on track."

In response to the changes, Michelin have pointed out that they already have written agreement from the FIA that their front tyres comply with the regulations. They go on to explain that they feel unable to proceed with development work until they know exactly how the tread width of the tyre will be measured.

"We can expect some difficulties in the definition since a tyre in its use can be in systematic contact with various 'objects', for example curbs, which, according to their profile and position, can touch up as far as the middle of the side walls," say Michelin in their statement.

The French company adds: "We are fully open to discuss this regulation change wished by the FIA and help to define a measurement procedure which could be enforced in 2004. We feel it is of course not realistic to ask for it before the Italian F1 Grand Prix."

All of the Michelin teams, along with all of their Bridgestone rivals, are due to test at Monza next week ahead of the Italian Grand Prix on September 14.