News and views on motorsports

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Culprit Ferrari: What a surprise

"I might add that Ferrari have always proved as adept in Formula One political matters as they have in terms of their competitiveness on the track and have been very effective in lobbying for changes which work in their favour. But perhaps that's all part of the F1 business and maybe you need to be able to do that." -- Patrick Head, Technical Director, Williams GP Engineering

Well, it looks as if my conspiracy theories have been proven correct. It was indeed revealed earlier this week that the scarlet snitchers are at it again. Ross Brawn admitting that it was Ferrari and Bridgestone that lodge the complaint against Michelin.

Ross Brawn telling the Italian press 'It was us who told the FIA at the end of the [Budapest] race that their treads were too big". And he continues with 'We are not going to accept losing this way anymore.' Oh bullshit! It was perfectly alright during the mid season when they were actually in the lead and winning. But now, it is completely unacceptable.

Also of interest is the FIA announcements regarding the issue. Max Mosley and Charlie Whiting had actually gone to the Ferrari factory for a visit, days before the FIA announcement of the new ruling. However, Mosley attempts to cover up that fact by saying that the subject "was mentioned but not discussed." That is to say, he was trying to cover up the fact that Ferrari had brought the matter to their attention. Furthermore, the FIA said simply "realised that its method of measuring tyres might need to be reviewed. Apparently this had happened in Budapest.

However, on September 3 an FIA spokesman had confirmed that Ferrari were the ones who had apparently lodge the complaint to the FIA. One day before that Michelin boss Pierre Dupasquier all but pointed the finger at Ferrari by asking the question "So who has the most to gain from such an action?". Especially in light of the closest championship in years and it looked as if it won't be going Maranello's way.

The story doesn't end there. Ross Brawn is now speaking of protesting the entire 2003 results if it can be proven that Michelin's tyres have not conformed to regulations all year round. Well given that the geomety of Michelin's tyres have been the same since San Marino 2001 are they going to retrospectively protest year 2001 and year 2002 results as well. Of course not, because they won. Ferrari it would seem are simply sore losers.

You might think Ferrari are just well pissed off that Bridgestone hadn't thought about the same thing. And having been lapped at Hungary purely due to a lack of speed they might well be. However, I think Bridgestone would have done so had it not concentrated so much on pleasing their scarlet sugar mummy. The Bridgestone tyres are after all a part of a package to suit the Ferrari's characteristics. Their narrower tyre are made as such to suit the aerodynamics package of this years Ferrari. So they really shouldn't complain.

Furthermore, the FIA has been measuring tyres in exactly the same way for years now. Michelin have taken advantage of that as is their right and duty to do so. It is not their fault that the FIA chose not to put in place better tyre measuring procedures. To suddenly change it mid season and be penalised for it is completely unjust.

Yes, alright you may accuse me of being biased against Ferrari. But as I have said before this is the sort of stunts Ferrari loves to pull and it is this very reason that Ferrari will always be a most despicable of teams. It's been going on since they first competed in Formula 1 and indeed in any form of racing they endeavour in when things do not go their way.

Hopefully, but improbably the FIA will come to its senses. And hopefully but improbably in the event that they don't Michelin will still produce a new tyre that will rub their Ferrari's face in the mud.

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