Rule changes designed to help prevent Indy repeat
In what would seem to be a move clearly intended to prevent the fiasco of the US Grand Prix ever occurring again, the FIA's proposed changes to the technical regulations for the 2008 season make clear that - in similar circumstances - a tyre manufacturer would be able to provide an "emergency" specification of rubber if that was required to allow the race to proceed.
The current Formula One Technical Regulations only allow teams to supply two specifications of dry weather tyres for a race, one of which is meant to be of an ultra-safe specification. In Indianapolis this year the Michelin-shod teams refused to race, citing the French company's warning that it could not guarantee the safety of its tyres through the high loadings of the banked Turn 13 of the Indianapolis course. The matter has already been investigated by the FIA, with any sanctions to be imposed on the teams set to be announced after the Italian Grand Prix.
The FIA's proposals include limiting the supply of tyres to Formula One to those made by a single manufacturer - something the organisation argues would lead to an increased emphasis on safety over performance. It is also proposed that slick tyres should replace the current grooved dry-weather tyres.
The proposed "emergency" clause in the regulations states that:
"If, in the opinion of the appointed tyre supplier and FIA technical delegate, the nominated tyre specification proves to be technically unsuitable, the stewards may authorise the use of additional tyres to a different specification."
To make it clear that this would only be permitted in the most extreme circumstances another clause states that except in the case of "force majeure" (circumstances outside the control of the race organisers or teams) "all tyres intended for use at an Event must be presented to the FIA technical delegate for allocation prior to the end of initial scrutineering."