News and views on motorsports

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Of Things To Come

According to this press release on the FIA website, Yokohama was won the tender to supply tyres for the World Touring Car Championship for 2006. The Japanese concern replaces Michelin who have been supplying the championship this year and its forerunner the ETCC since year 2001.

Did the events of Indianapolis have any influence on the results of this tender? I have no idea how these things are decided but one cannot help but suspect that it did.

Perhaps this points to the shape of things to come. Certainly the FIA are proposing that in 2008 a single tyre manufacturer will be selected to supply the entire field in Formula 1.

I think the vast majority of people won't agree with me on this but I am against a single tyre manufacturer in the sport. I know both Bridgestone and Michelin want to remain in Formula 1 so its likely to be a tough battle between the two to remain. Although after Indianapolis I must say Bridgestone must be seen to be the favourites. I'd hate that actually because I think Bridgestone are thankless and underhanded bastards.

But more than that, having two tyre manufacturers is good for the sport, especially combined with multi lap qualifying and the prospect of special qualy tyres. Maybe I'm still thinking about the 80s but I've always thought that qualifying was more exciting back then and through into the 90s. I don't know.

But I'm quite against mono culture in anything and I believe Formula 1 should be a competition for everyone, not just the teams. I mean, manufacturers of brakes, tyres, gear, components et cetera should be given an opportunity to show their stuff in Formula 1. We all have choices when it comes to tyres on our road cars. Why not on the grand prix machines as well?

And really, if we didn't have this silly and highly dangerous one tyre per race rules, the competition wouldn't be about tyres alone. But the rules as such has made it that way where tyres dominate almost the entire proceedings.

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