PARIS (July 19, 2004) — The sanctioning body for Formula One racing, in the hope of improving competition, has proposed that starting next season tires should last an entire 200-mile race, instead of 50 to 80 miles as is the practice today.
The Federation International l'Automobile (FIA) has presented its package to the 10 teams competing in the worldwide racing series. These measures are likely to be imposed if eight of the 10 teams do not agree to their own set of proposals, which must be presented to the FIA before Sept. 6.
Regarding tires, the FIA said a driver may choose from two types of tire, as in 2004. He will then have two sets of his chosen tire, one for Friday and Saturday practice, the other for qualifying and the race. A damaged tire can be replaced during the race (taken from the first set), but the car cannot be refuelled at the same time as the damaged tire is changed.
The FIA hopes to reduce speeds and improve competition this way because a tire that lasts longer will have less grip, thereby reducing cornering speeds, increasing braking distances and possibly producing less tire debris or “marbles.”
The FIA also is proposing changes to reduce downforce and increase engine life.
Group Michelin and Bridgestone Corp. supply tires for Formula One, which competes at 18 race tracks in 16 countries on five continents.