MAY 17, 2006
More bleating from Renault
Formula 1 team principals with lots of money never make much noise. It is only when things are not looking so good that they start demanding technology freezes, standard parts and so on, as they seek to hold on to their advantage without having to spend more money. The question of standard tyres was agreed last autumn by the Formula 1 Commission in a controversial vote in which Red Bull, a Michelin team, voted to adopt a single tyre supplier, something that Michelin has been opposed to. Some of the teams took the decision to jump to Bridgestone early in order to get used to the Japanese tyres. It was a leap which has cost both Williams and Toyota points this year. Renault, McLaren, Honda and BMW chose to stay with Michelin in the knowledge that they would start behind the other teams in 2007. The logic was simple: worry about 2006 rather than about 2007. But now, predictably, Renault boss Flavio Briatore is trying to get things changed so that he can have his cake and eat it. Briatore told pressmen in Barcelona that the current Bridgestone teams will have an advantage in 2007. That is not rocket science but teams that took that decision should not be penalised either. Briatore wants tyres in 2007 to be different to the tyres used this year so that the playing field will be even for everyone and is calling on the FIA to legislate.
While Briatore and the FIA are a lot closer than they have been in years gone by, there is no reason to assume that the FIA should do such a thing. Standard tyres come into F1 in 2008 and if some teams suffer in 2007 that surely is their choice. They had the opportunity to switch to Bridgestone last year. The teams that did make that decision should not be penalised for it.
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