Syntagma Digital
21st-Century Phi
Stage Latest
  • Auto Insurance
  • Nascar Tickets

A Michelin Rumor

F1 Racing Live has a news item that suggests all was not quite as well in the Michelin camp over the Indy weekend as we thought. According to the story, Michelin found damage to their hard tire compound after practice and instructed the teams to choose the soft compound only.

Michelin tire

If this is true, Michelin were indeed going conservative on tires, although that seems a strange way to describe opting for the softer (and therefore faster-wearing) tire. And some are seeing this as an explanation for the sudden drop in Michelin’s performance relative to Bridgestone’s. But again, this seems a bit odd since one would expect the softer compound to have more grip than the hard tire. There were no noticeable problems with tire wear during the race, which might have been expected if only soft Michelins were being used.

I am no expert on F1 tires and I know that the soft option is not always the quicker way around a track, but it still seems a dubious story to me.

Whatever the truth, the Michelin men must be glad to have Indianapolis behind them. From now on they can return to their development of a tire that has proved consistently better than Bridgestone’s in the first half of the season. With a bit of luck (and help from Renault and Alonso), they should win enough races for the disaster of Indy 2005 to recede into history.

By 2008 Michelin will be out of F1 again, perhaps breathing a sigh of relief. And Bridgestone will be the sole tire supplier, as announced by the FIA today. That may be limiting the advance of tire technology in F1 but it also means the end of tire advantages winning races. And that has to be good. When it comes down to it, we care much less about tires, no matter how cleverly constructed, than we do about cars and drivers.

Leave a Reply