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F1 teams reject return to 2018-spec tyres

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F1 teams reject return to 2018-spec tyres
By:
Jun 28, 2019, 9:06 AM

The 10 Formula 1 teams were split 50:50 in a vote on a potential return to 2018 tyres in a meeting in Austria this morning, so there will be no immediate changes.

The rules require seven teams to support a change to the tyre specification and, as expected, there was no majority in favour.

It's understood that the FIA will use today's discussion to create a document for further consideration, although it appears unlikely that a full return to 2018 will ultimately be agreed.

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The meeting was the first formal discussion of the move to the thicker treaded tyres used last season that has been pushed by Red Bull Racing.

All team bosses were present, along with Red Bull's Helmut Marko, plus Ross Brawn on behalf of the F1 organisation, the FIA's technical boss Nikolas Tombazis, and Pirelli's Mario Isola.

The drivers were represented by GPDA chairman Alex Wurz, along with his fellow directors Romain Grosjean and Sebastian Vettel. Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were also present.

The discussion allowed all parties to put their views across. Pirelli stressed the safety aspects, pointing out that this year's thinner tread was introduced to stop blistering and chunking. Isola also noted that a change of tread thickness would still entail a small operating window.

Sources say that it was a generally positive discussion, with teams agreeing that a wider operating window with less degradation would be desirable, and that those with less downforce should not be penalised by an inability to get their tyres working.

A vote on the main proposal saw Red Bull and Ferrari – joined by their associated teams Toro Rosso, Haas and Alfa Romeo – in favour of a return to 2018, although some sources say Alfa's Fred Vasseur indicated that he did not have a clear cut view.

Mercedes, McLaren, Williams, Renault and Racing Point all voted against the change.

One suggestion was that 2020 tyres be tested on Fridays of race weekends this year, if production schedules allowed, but no firm decisions were taken.

 

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Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper