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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 September, 2003, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
Williams happy with new tyres
Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya at the recent Monza test
Williams had feared the tyre ruling would help Ferrari
The Williams team is confident that Michelin's new tyres will enable it to continue its title charge at Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.

Formula One's ruling body the FIA has indicated that its latest ruling on tread width, which followed protests from Ferrari, will be applied at Monza.

But Williams chief operations officer Sam Michael insists the new tyres, produced by Michelin to avoid the risk of being penalised, will be competitive.

"The new tyres are quicker and more consistent and therefore a genuine improvement," Michael told BBC Sport.

"I'm happy. It will be a good tyre at all the three final races."

Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya has closed the gap on Ferrari's Michael Schumacher in the drivers' standings to just one point, with McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen one point further back.

It is a very confusing situation and lots of unqualified and qualified people are saying lots of things about how wide or narrow the tyres are
Michael Schumacher

But the momentum looked to have swung back Schumacher's way when Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn claimed after the Hungarian Grand Prix that Michelin had been producing illegally wide front tyres.

The FIA responded by saying it would check tread widths after as well as before the next race, prompting Michelin to develop new tyres for Williams and McLaren to test.

The two teams met the FIA on Monday to seek clarification on the new ruling, and Michael said new and worn tyres had been presented for inspection with no complaints.

Michelin were angry at the claims from Ferrari, which followed the team's disappointing display on its Bridgestone tyres in Hungary.

A statement from Michelin said: "It is not for Ross Brawn to decide the legality of Michelin's tyres."

Michelin added: "The FIA has always authorised all our front tyres whose 'tread width must not exceed 270mm'. This measurement has been taken by the FIA on new tyres, as stated in the FIA sporting regulations article 77C."

Schumacher has played down the potential impact of the tyre row.

"I don't think it will make that much difference," he told the Autosport website.

"The end result will not be that upside down from how it is now. It is a very confusing situation and lots of unqualified and qualified people are saying lots of things about how wide or narrow the tyres are."




ITALIAN GRAND PRIX

MICHAEL'S DAY AT MONZA

TRACK GUIDE

2003 SEASON RACE BY RACE
 

GET INTO F1

EVERY TEAM ANALYSED
 

EACH DRIVER PROFILED
 


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