Michelin has produced a new design for its F1 tyres ahead of next weekend's Italian Grand Prix, but news that Bridgestone-backed Ferrari tipped off the FIA to the possible irregularity of the French team's rubber caused much tension in grand prix circles.

Michelin has produced a new design for its F1 tyres ahead of next weekend's Italian Grand Prix, but news that Bridgestone-backed Ferrari tipped off the FIA to the possible irregularity of the French team's rubber caused much tension in grand prix circles.


CARtoday.com reported earlier this week that the F1 title challenges of Michelin-shod teams McLaren-Mercedes and Williams-BMW could be dealt a body blow because the FIA has changed the way it measures tyre widths. F1's governing body wrote a letter to all the teams claiming the previous tread width limit of 270 mm for the front tyres would in future be measured after the race - rather than before it, as had been the previous practice.


It was widely believed that the new ruling would hurt Michelin more than Bridgestone because its tyres have used the 270 mm limit to the maximum.


"The new interpretation of the rules by the FIA has forced us to react, said Michelin's motorsport boss Pierre Dupasquier. "Don't think for a moment that Michelin wouldn't respond to the challenge. Our people have been working 24 hours a day since last Wednesday and new tyres are being tested in Monza as we speak".


According to , Williams and McLaren began to assess the new tyres on Wednesday afternoon during the F1 test at Monza, but it remains to be seen whether the new tyres will be as effective as the previous spec rubber was.


But there is simmering tension between Ferrari and rivals McLaren, Williams and their respective tyre suppliers because the FIA has admitted that it was the Scuderia that tipped it off over the tread width of Michelin's front tyres.


In its first official statement since the controversy began over the compliance of the regulations of Michelin's tyres the FIA has moved to clarify its position on the matter.


"As Ferrari have confirmed," an FIA spokesman said, "it was they who pointed out to the FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting that tyres which had a tread width of 270mm when new, appeared to be using a greater tread width when in use.


"Having checked this information, Whiting warned the relevant tyre company informally immediately after the race in Hungary. On his return to the office three days later he wrote to inform all the teams," he added.


Dupasquier believes the FIA's new stance will create further problems. "I believe that it will be almost impossible to define an objective method to measure the limits of a tread after running. A tyre when running deforms, gathers 'pick-up' off the track..."

Original article from Car