Puncture resistance in Formula 1

We hear that the FIA will be insisting on tyre companies doing puncture resistance tests on their tyres in the future. It seems that any thought of a control tyre has been binned because of the problems associated with sponsorship deals between teams and tire companies. If confirmed this is a worrying precedent as it would seem to suggest that commercial matters have been given precedence over safety issues. The FIA will announce some of its new rules package today and it is expected that there will be a big restriction on the number of tyres teams will be allowed to use although how stringent this will be remains to be seen. The FIA has made much of the need for the cars to be made safer and while most teams are now working on the design of 2.4-litre V8s for 2006 very few of the engine manufacturers seem to think that the drop in horsepower will make much difference when it comes to safety. Similarly the aerodynamic cut backs are expected to knock around 15% off the downforce figures by the start of next year but most teams seem to think that they will be back to current levels by the end of the year. The tyre regulations are the easiest and most effective way of making a big dent in lap times but the FIA appears to be shying away from the idea because of potential legal issues.

Max Mosley will be appearing in Brazil today to try to finish off all the talks over the rules and make his position clear about the future.

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