DECEMBER 7, 1998
More tire wars
GOODYEAR may have pulled out of Formula 1 racing but there is still a battle going on over tires with the FIA, the team bosses and Bridgestone representatives due to meet tomorrow in London to find a compromise over restrictions on testing. Bridgestone asked for a cutback in testing in order to ease its production and supply problems, calling for a limited number of tests at which all the teams would be present. Ferrari has refused to agree to this because it wants to go on testing at Fiorano and Mugello.
Last week Bridgestone wrote to the F1 teams saying that it would make no more tires available until arrangements had been agreed with the FIA and a meeting was organized to solve the problem. The teams have agreed to accept a limitation of testing to just 50 days a year, but do not want to be forced to go testing where Bridgestone dictates.
While it looks as though a solution will be found for the immediate testing problems, there are also expected to be discussions about the long-term direction of tire development with Bridgestone arguing that there should be all-weather tires to cut costs and reduce expenditure. This would enable tire companies to produce road tires which look similar to those used on the racing cars.