FIA proposes the return of tyre stops

Michelin tyre, Japanese GP 2005

Michelin tyre, Japanese GP 2005 

 © The Cahier Archive

The FIA sent a fax to the Formula 1 teams at Suzuka with a list of proposals for new regulations in 2006. These include a plan for a knock-out system in qualifying and the return of tyre changes in the races. This is an odd move as it would mean a return to much more extreme level of tyre development and an about-face on what the federation was arguing last year in terms of the need to slow speeds with less highly-developed tyres.

The single tyre format was also designed to cut costs but clearly failed to achieve that goal and it created questions over safety because of the dangers seen with incidents such as Kimi Raikkonen's tyre-induced suspension failure at the European GP.

The new qualifying comes from an idea put forward by the teams and car manufacturers during their many working groups this year and could result in the five slowest cars knocked out after 15 minutes of low-fuel running in a qualifying session in which all cars would compete. Another five would be knocked out at the 30-minute mark and then the remaining cars would take on their race fuel and go into a 20-minute shoot out to decide the front of the grid.

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