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F1 teams reject plan to revert to 2018 tyres

Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton took pole for the French Grand Prix

SPIELBERG, Austria, Jun 28A plan to revert to 2018 tyres to enliven the racing failed to gain approval at a meeting of Formula One teams on Friday.

The teams met tyre suppliers Pirelli, representatives of the sport’s organisers and ruling body and several drivers ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

The meeting considered a proposal to re-introduce last year’s tyre compounds, but it did not gain majority support. The 2018 tyres were more prone to blistering and disintegrating and thus helped produce more unpredictable contests.

The plan came to the fore following last weekend’s processional French Grand Prix at Le Castellet, where the dominant Mercedes team reeled off a record eighth consecutive season-opening victory with a triumphant one-two.

No other team has won any of the last 10 races as Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have turned the championship into a two-man race with Ferrari, struggling with the 2019 tyres, in pursuit.

The sport’s ruling body, the International Motoring Federation (FIA), was represented by technical boss Nikolas Tombazis and is likely to use the discussion as a basis for consideration for the future.

The drivers were represented by the chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA) Alex Wurz, Romain Grosjean of Haas, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc of Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes.

The return of the ‘chunky’ 2018 tyres were favoured by Ferrari and Red Bull, and their partner teams Alfa Romeo, Haas and Toro Rosso.

The other teams led by Mercedes were all against the change.

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