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Formula 1: Tires and the KERS issue should be clarified by Monaco

Formula 1: Tire and KERS dilemma
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T he situation on the tire market is getting stronger more confusing. The hotter the topic is discussed, the more candidates are interested. In addition to Michelin, Pirelli and Avon, Bridgestone and Kumho are now also mentioned. The Korean manufacturer apparently deposited a letter of intent with the FIA ​​and Bernie Ecclestone. Bridgestone comes into play because the teams have unanimously asked the Japanese to reconsider the withdrawal.

F1 teams call for Bridgestone again

Bridgestone European boss Mac Ohashi was contacted by team representatives in Barcelona. He will now forward the request to CEO Shoshi Arakawa. 'The request honors us,' admits race director Hiroshi Yasukawa. The call for help from Formula 1 should grab Bridgestone's honor. The Executive Board does not have much time in Tokyo. The teams want to have a decision before the Monaco GP. The promise to promote environmentally friendly technology in Formula 1 is another bridge that Bridgestone is building. The company is currently running a green campaign.

There is still great disagreement among the twelve racing teams as to who should be awarded the contract if Bridgestone sticks to its withdrawal. The big teams want Michelin because the French would be the only ones able to provide reliable tire data. The private teams are skeptical. 'We are annoyed about how Michelin treated us with the first offer. That was far too expensive,' said the independent teams. Michelin has now reduced its claims by 50 percent. You want competition, but the risk of a money-consuming tire war is relatively low. At the moment there is no sign of any manufacturer who dares to compete against Michelin.

No specific Pirelli offer

Pirelli is still missing a detailed offer. All you know is that you can get twice as many tires for the same money as Michelin. But Pirelli has not built any Formula 1 tires for 19 years. There remains an element of uncertainty. Avon would be the cheapest solution. However, there would be no tire data. 'Then the big teams would employ their own engineers who generate tire data themselves,' dismisses McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh. 'The small teams couldn't afford that and there would be a two-class society.'

Kumho only answered at the last minute without any detailscall. There is a general interest in GP sport. However, the Koreans have zero experience with Formula 1 tires.

KERS introduction 2011: top teams vs. Newbies

The topic of KERS could keep Formula 1 busy for longer. Ferrari and Renault want to drive with hybrid drive from 2011. For image reasons and because an advantage over the competition can be achieved in this area. Since the aerodynamics will be further curtailed from next year, the engineers are looking for new playgrounds. Ferrari would sell its system to its customers, Sauber and Toro Rosso. Renault offers its technology to the whole field in collaboration with Magneti Marelli. Allegedly for a million euros per season.

Even that is too expensive for the poor teams. They want to postpone KERS to 2013 when a new engine format comes along. 'They would fall even further behind if some teams were to use KERS and they themselves couldn't because they couldn't afford it,' warns Whitmarsh.

Nobody can ban KERS for 2011

The problem is that the rules allow the use of hybrid technology. The agreement not to use KERS only applies to 2010. 'If someone wants to drive with KERS next year, nobody can forbid them,' says Ross Brawn, describing the dilemma. The fear is that the manufacturers will develop their systems from the previous year and that Williams will come with its flywheel solution. That would not only drive up costs, but also pull the field apart.

'At the moment the stupidest thing you can do,' complains the second division in the field. Whitmarsh sees the rejection of KERS as a political problem: 'You can't afford to be against the hybrid drive today because you make yourself vulnerable. The systems used in Formula 1 so far have nothing to do with saving fuel nobody hears. '


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