Warning from Michelin as Mosley is re-elected FIA president

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The French tyre company, with whom Mosley has a cool relationship, accused the FIA of "incoherent" rule-making and "hidden motivations" in once again allowing tyre changes in races for 2006, after competitors in 2005 had to qualify and race on only one set of tyres. Michelin believes the new rules will favour their rival, Bridgestone.

"These new rules will immediately increase tyre development, production and logistics costs by 15 per cent since, contrary to what has been said, the 2005 solutions can by no means be adapted to the new 2006 regulations," a Michelin statement said. "Once again, this illustrates F1's problems of incoherent decision-making and lack of transparency."

The Belgian Grand Prix is under threat after the promoter of the event, DDGP, was declared bankrupt by a commercial court in Liège, with losses of more than £7m.

The Societe de Promotion du circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and its chairman, Yves Bacquelaine, are now attempting to find a new promoter willing to face the risk of promoting a race that, while popular, has recently struggled to make money despite initiatives such as offering free entry on a Thursday in the hope that visiting fans would then buy tickets for the remainder of the weekend. DDGP lost more than £3.5m on the 2004 race when a total of 161,500 spectators attended. This year the attendance figure fell to 115,424.

DDGP hopes the regional government will bale it out by providing the £12m fee payable to the FIA to organise next year's race, but it has already lost a similar sum loaned previously.

There have also been safety concerns about the track, after an accident in the Mini support race this year in which a section of steel barrier was seriously damaged by a car capable of far less performance than a Formula One machine.

Comments