Michelin is making narrower tires

Michelin tires, French GP 2003

Michelin tires, French GP 2003 

 © The Cahier Archive

According to our sources Michelin is busy making a batch of new, slightly-narrower front tires which will be used at the Italian Grand Prix if it is deemed necessary for the French company to play it safe because of the FIA's warning about the measuring of the contact patch of the tires. This week's Monza testing will give the Michelin men the opportunity to run on the existing tires to see how they measure after being used and if there are any doubts there will be new tires produced for the race in 10 days from now. It will be interesting to see whether or not this will have any effect on the performance of the Williams-BMWs as the advantage of the slightly larger contact patch is offset by aerodynamic disadvantages of the slightly wider tires. On slower circuits the extra grip is obviously more important but at Monza, where straightline speed is important, the disadvantages may be minimal.

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