Friday February 2nd, 2001
The higher speeds that may result from the tyre war between Bridgestone and Michelin during the 2001 season won't mean radical changes in the sports' regulations, according to FIA's President Max Mosley.
With the return of French manufacturer Michelin to Formula One this season and the subsequent fight with Japanese marquee Bridgestone, the lap times are expected to decrease significantly in 2001, courtesy of the intensive development that both have been carrying out during the pre-season.
However, despite the increased speeds, Mosley admitted there won't be sudden changes in the sports' regulations in order to control the car's pace.
"The new rules were put forward by the F1 engineers to compensate for an anticipated drop in lap times due to competition between the tyre companies," Mosley was quoted as saying in Autosport.
"If the aerodynamic changes [designers] put forward are seriously wrong, we’ll look at [new] measures, but it will be done calmly and rationally."
The changes in the aerodynamic regulations for this season include the reduction of the elements of the rear wing to only three and a higher front wing, which are thought to have reduced a 15-20 per cent of the amount of downforce but, as Williams' technical director Patrick Head admitted earlier this week, the teams will regain it soon.
"It's fairly well recognised that if you took last year's car and raised the wing, lengthened the sidepods and reduced the number of element in the rear wing, in general most people felt they lost 15 to 20 per cent of aerodynamic performance," Head said.
"We are not at the level of last year yet, but we've certainly closed a major part of that."