What is legal and what is not legal?

Michelin tire, French GP 2003

Michelin tire, French GP 2003 

 © The Cahier Archive

It has been argued many times that the Formula 1 regulations are loosely worded but when one considers the three different sets of rules (the FIA International Sporting Code, the FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations and the FIA Formula 1 Technical Regulations) they form a fairly bullet-proof set of rules.

Michelin and the teams involved are currently arguing that Article 77c of the FIA Sporting Regulations which states that "the tread width of the front tires must not exceed 270mm" suggests that this is only applied when the tires are new.

Unfortunately this argument is defeated by an article in the Formula 1 Technical Regulations (Article 2.4) which states that automobiles "must comply with these regulations in their entirety at all times during an event". The tires are included in the definition of the word automobile.

Furthermore, Article 2.4 goes on to state that "should a competitor feel that any aspect of these regulations is unclear, clarification may be sought from the FIA Formula 1 Technical Department" which, in effect, means that if there is any doubt over the rules the FIA should have been made aware of it.

It would seem therefore that the current arguments over tires are fairly clear-cut and the teams involved must now decide what to do when they go to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

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