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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 February, 2005, 17:06 GMT
F1 bosses ready to end tyre war
By Andrew Benson
Motorsport editor

Rubens Barrichello in a Formula One Ferrari
Ferrari are backing calls to introduce a single F1 tyre manufacturer
Formula One could revert to a single tyre manufacturer as early as next year, BBC Sport has learned.

Motorsport boss Max Mosley said he was "strongly in favour" of the move, according to the minutes of a high-level meeting seen by the BBC.

Mosley agreed with Ferrari, the only other team at the meeting, to discuss the idea with F1's tyre suppliers.

Ferrari also backed the idea of a significant reduction in testing as part of proposals to cut costs.

The issue of rising costs and how to keep them under control has caused a split between Ferrari and the other nine teams, who refused to attend the meeting last week.

Ferrari have refused to go along with their rivals' proposals to limit testing to 30 days during the season in 2005.

The issue was discussed at length at the meeting, where the world champions said that a limit based on mileage rather than days would be more effective.

Mosley, the president of the sport's governing body the FIA, said he would discuss these proposals with the tyre manufacturers as well.

Max Mosley, president of the FIA
Mosley has proposed a number of cost-cutting measures
An FIA spokesman said: "The FIA has initiated a consultation on cost-cutting measures with the F1 teams in order to establish a genuine consensus for regulatory change.

"Among other proposals, the FIA is strongly in favour of a single tyre supplier and an FIA-regulated restriction on testing."

Among other cost-cutting proposals agreed by Ferrari and the FIA were:

  • to commission a study into whether a dramatic reduction in aerodynamic downforce and a return to wide, tread-free "slick" tyres would improve the racing.

  • to set up a working group to look into the use of standard electronic control systems.

  • to reduce Grand Prix weekends from three days to two.

Radical proposals such as a salary cap on drivers and a maximum age for second drivers were rejected.

The other teams had asked for the meeting with Mosley to be postponed until after the Bahrain Grand Prix on 3 April.

They are unhappy at Ferrari's decision last month to conclude a private deal with Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 commercial rights holder, to ensure their continued participation in the FIA world championship from 2008 to 2012.

We can only agree on cost-saving measures if everyone participates in the discussion
Max Mosley
FIA president
They have agreed to act "en bloc" in discussions over the future of the sport and have been pushing for a single tyre manufacturer for several months, although the FIA says it proposed the idea at a meeting last May.

It would end the current "tyre war" between Michelin and Bridgestone, significantly cut costs and remove questions about whether Ferrari are winning because they have better tyres.

Having only one tyre manufacturer would also make it easier to keep cornering speeds under control, as the company could be asked to supply only harder, less grippy, tyres for all teams.

Mosley has called another meeting of all the teams for 15 April.

In a letter to the teams, he said: "It is only through discussion that progress can be made.

"Now is the time to start talking about 2008 because the sooner we start, the more likely we are to find consensus.

"At the same time it may still be possible to reach unanimous agreement for a limited number of cost-saving measures during the current Concorde Agreement, perhaps as early as 2006.

"But this can only happen if everyone participates in the discussion.

"Soon after the 15 April meeting, change for 2006 will become increasingly difficult and/or expensive and unanimity will no longer be achievable.

"I urge you to come to the 15 April meeting."

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