Keith Howard repeats the assertion that slick tyres first appeared in F1 in 1971.
Smooth tyres have been utilised fix track racing as well as LSR and drag racing for many years. In fact, I can think of a couple of false starts in this direction as long ago as 1959, when Motor Racing magazine reported on the new F1 Scarab testing at Riverside. The car used ‘slicks’ without any tread pattern but where did the idea come from?
I can only guess that the inspiration came from Roger Ward winning a Formula Libre race at Lime Rock in a track-racing midget some months earlier on its regular track type slicks against Chuck Daigh’s Maserati 250F.
Michelin supplied Alpine with slick tyres for the 1967 Le Mans 24 hours and then provided the Matra F2 team with some to try in practice at Reims two weeks later. Johnny Servoz-Gavin expressed himself delighted with the slicks, saying that they were worth “a second a lap”.
I am, yours, etc. David Cole, Oakham, Rutland.