INDIANAPOLIS (June 17, 2005) — Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the sanctioning body for Formula 1 racing, is proposing the series go to a single tire supplier for the 2008 and succeeding seasons as part of a cost-containment and competition-enhancement study.
Among the reasons the FIA cites for its proposal are:
* a single supplier would allow a bigger safety margin;
* the absence of the need for competitive tire testing would reduce costs;
* a single tire supplier would ensure that no team would be adversely affected by being contracted to the “wrong” supplier;
* slick tires could be re-introduced as a part of the low-downforce and high-mechanical-grip package; and
* lower profile tires would be introduced in order to give the wheels and tires a more modern look and also permit more freedom on brakes and suspension.
In making its suggestions, the FIA said it considered five principal challenges—safety, fairness, keeping the current six major car manufacturers involved, preserving the independent teams and ensuring that the public continue to enjoy Formula 1.
“Everyone is agreed on the need for the first two,” the FIA said. “The last three are more controversial.”
The FIA disclosed its proposal at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the Grand Prix of the U.S. is to take place June 19.
Bridgestone Corp. and Group Michelin supply the 10 teams participating in the F1 championship this year, with Michelin-equipped cars winning all eight races thus far this year.
South Korea's Kumho Tire Co. Inc. has stated it would like to supply teams starting as early as the 2007 season.