FIA unimpressed with criticism of 2020 tyres process

Date published: November 22 2019

F1 2019 tyres Pirelli

FIA single-seater technical boss Nikolas Tombazis is getting a little irked by the team’s criticisms of the process for finalising the 2020 tyre compounds.

The definitive construction of the 2020 compounds was meant to be confirmed with teams by September 1, but that was delayed until October for further testing before teams were given prototypes to try out during FP1 and 2 at the United States GP.

However, the feedback for the tyres was overwhelmingly negative, and in the face of calls to just stick with the current construction, the FIA confirmed that the 2020 tyre test in Abu Dhabi will go ahead and a vote will be held afterwards if the verdict doesn’t improve.

It would take seven or more teams voting to keep the 2019 tyres to force the new construction to be dropped, but all the “whinging” isn’t going down well with the FIA.

“As explained to the team principals [in Brazil], I’m not suggesting that how it’s been done is the best way and that it’s all perfect,” Tombazis told Motorsport.com.

“I’m not expecting clapping and cheering! But last year we were faced in June or July with a big brouhaha about the tyres and people wanting to change them in the middle of the year, on the basis of a vote. The alternative was to just keep the current tyres and do nothing.

“And to avoid similar whinging next year, and cries for different constructions or whatever, then I felt at least to get it right in December or late November was better than discussing it in May or June during a championship.

“People revise their opinions on the basis of their competitive position. All these sort of things are not perfect, but it’s the less awkward way to handle it.”

Tombazis explained that the 2020 plans would be dropped if a vote was held after the Abu Dhabi test and seven or more teams voted against the tyres, but he believes that the new compounds would be “an advantage for the sport”.

“If the outcome of that is that teams say, ‘Oh, no, really, you know, we don’t see any benefits,’ and so on, then they have the right to vote them out with seven out of 10. If on the other hand hopefully the tyres do prove to be beneficial, we’re left with an advantage for the sport.

“The change of tyres has to be instigated by the FIA. So, if we see that there’s massive whinging about the tyres, then we will ask there to be a vote.

“If we see that basically people are happy, and the tyres are overheating less and achieving all the various advantages that they’re supposed to do, then we will not instigate a vote.”

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