ROME (Oct. 26, 2005) — Formula 1 racing's sanctioning body is moving ahead with plans to limit the worldwide racing series to a single tire supplier in 2008, a change that would coincide with a return to slick tires.
In addition to approving these measures for the 2008 season and beyond, the Federation International de l'Automobile (FIA) will allow Formula 1 teams to make tire changes during races next year, reversing its decision of a year ago to restrict racers to a single set of tires during a race.
The change to a single tire supplier and return to slick tires—Formula 1 cars have run on grooved tires since the 1998 season—is part of a competition-enhancing package of measures that includes specifying a split rear wing that would allow cleaner airflow over the car.
This package of changes could be introduced a year earlier, in 2007, if 80 percent of the Formula 1 Technical Working Group agree to do so before year-end 2005, the FIA said.
Next year each driver will be permitted to use seven sets of dry-weather tires for each event; all tires used for qualifying and the race must be of the same specification.
Group Michelin and Bridgestone Corp., the two suppliers of tires to Formula 1, have not yet commented on the FIA's latest announcement, which was made by the body's World Motor Sport Council at a meeting in Rome.