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FIA expect new Michelins to pass tyre checks 09 Sep 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's governing body, the FIA, has said it does not expect any problems over the legality of Michelin's tyres at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix. It follows a meeting at which it was shown examples of the French company's new tyres, both before and after use.

"The FIA technical department has confirmed that it believes these tyres will comply with the Formula One regulations if used in the same way at Monza," said the FIA following Monday's meeting with representatives of Michelin, Williams and McLaren.

The new tyres were rapidly introduced at last week's Monza test following news that the FIA will now check tread width after, as well as before, races.

In Tuesday's statement the FIA also emphasised that it had not actually changed the rules in any way, and went on to suggest that perhaps the Michelin teams should have requested clarification sooner if they suspected their tyres might be too wide.

"A number of press reports have suggested that the FIA has changed or re-interpreted the tyre regulations," read the statement. "This is not correct. The maximum tread width has been 270mm since 1999. The FIA has never suggested that tread width was unlimited once the tyre was in use.

"With hindsight, it is regrettable that those using the earlier Michelin front tyres did not consult the FIA about possible excess tread width as soon as they became aware of it. However, as far as the FIA technical department is concerned, the matter is now closed and the Championship can continue with all teams on an equal footing."

The wording of the statement would appear to rule out any possibility of the results of previous 2003 races now being appealed.

See also: McLaren: revised tyres may be deemed 'illegal'