The reintroduction of slick tires in 2009 is not set in stone, FIA president Max Mosley has warned. Bridgestone supplied a developmental slick tire for teams to experiment with at the recent Jerez test. It is planned that the current grooved tires, introduced in 1998 to cut cornering speeds, will be scrapped after next season, in unison with new regulations to slash aerodynamic downforce by as much as 50 per cent.

But Mosley told the British magazine Autosport that if the new bodywork rules do not reduce cornering speeds as intended, the return of slicks may be called off. “The theory is: much less downforce and more mechanical grip should improve the racing and overtaking,” he said.

“(But) if it turns out that the promised reduction in downforce hasn’t happened and the cornering speeds go up, we’ll just put the grooves back in,” Mosley added. (GMM)