Everyone knew that when there was a tyre war, the teams that had special agreements got the best tyres. Mclaren even stated it as a reason for going over to Michelin in 2002.
What's your problem with special agreements?
There were unofficial comments that McLaren switched because they didn't want to share information with Ferrari at that time.
Bridgestone had to change things at that time to be able to keep up with Michelin. Either they went completely behind a team, which happened with the departure of McLaren, or the leading teams would share data together. And if you read an excellent interview with Michelin, they were on the record that they knew their tires were better than the ones provided by Bridgestone. But they claimed the teams were not up to the task of taking on Ferrari. Obviously that was Michelins view.
The bigger issue and shortsightedness of teams ganging up against Ferrari was that it ultimately was leading to where we are today. First there was enough pressure on Ferrari to give in for a single control tire supplier. Behind that move was the FIA's hunger for control under Max Mosley. Before tires were considered to be a supplier to the teams. So that is why different teams wound up with different agreements and were perfectly OK. After the Indy 2005 GP there was enough pressure on the teams to give up their control over the tire situation and the happenings around Indy 2005 were good enough to have Michelin withdrawing, making way for the FIA to manage the tire supplier for the teams. It was part of Max Mosley's plan to slowly make F1 into a spec series. He himself hinted very clearly to that goal.
Now instead of conspiracies, to me it has become very obvious for F1 that giving up your freedom to choose your tire supplier, in order to not look like idiots against the dream team of 200-2004, came with a heavy price tag. It happens always whenever freedom is given up for a short term gain. The results are never satisfying in the long term.
But in any case, it's always good to have someone to blame and in the racing community and even more so for the "fans" it's very quickly about the tires. When teams can make their own deals, as it should be, then it's not good to some. If the FIA is in control it's also not good for even more people (and from the point of freedom to go down certain development paths even worse for the teams). But in the end it seems it's always cool to blame the tires. Michelin, then Bridgestone pulled out for this very reason. When will Pirelli pull the plug? Oh well, there was that Korean tire company interested, no? Nothing against that company and Korea, but I do hope people see where it's leading if a company with very limited racing tire experience enters F1. Some think Pirelli is bad, well if they pull out and some company with no F1 experience enters then some of you can start write 50 pages of conspiracies...
I think stopping to conspire or/and to blame would do better for F1 and prevent the F1 fraternity of making knee-jerk decisions as they usually do, when the pressure gets too big. The proper way IMO is that teams are again in control of tires, not the FIA. The FIA is by default reactionary. They do not have the ability to drive the development of tires into a better direction. They can only stifle it.
Under the current model there is also no interest to improve tires. Conspiracy here, there or everywhere, doesn't really matter. The current model is not working for the sport itself. And it doesn't need a conspiracy. Just look at recent F1 history.
Edited by HP, 14 May 2012 - 10:05.