Formula1, Motorsport

Michelin to bid for F1’s tyre supplier role

After its withdrawal in 2006, Michelin has submitted a proposal to the International Automobile Federation (FIA) to become Formula One’s next tyre supplier, claiming that it’s the right time to return to the sport.

It is also confirmed that Michelin has included their move to 18 inch lower profile, longer lasting tyres. The French tyre manufacturer will be bidding for the three-year contract from 2017 along with current supplier Pirelli.

“Yes, we have entered,” said Michelin Motorsport director Pascal Couasnon as quoted from Autosport.

“The reasoning is we’ve been proposing ideas, talking about Formula 1 and that we are disappointed, especially where it is today tyre-wise.

“If we want to be credible and consistent then you cannot complain or comment if you don’t bring solutions.

“So it has made sense for me to say if we have ideas, then let’s go and propose these ideas, and we’ll see if people are interested or not.

“At least then nobody can say to us, ‘well guys, you are talking, but you are not acting’. Now, we are acting.”

As to the situation of throwing away the tyres after a few laps during a race, Couasnon believes that it may not be good for the tyre industry, therefore Michelin has made their proposal in the hopes of changing the situation by supplying high-technology tyres that are longer-lasting with better grip.

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone had previously expressed that Michelin’s return would be bad for Formula One and often voiced his support for Pirelli. Despite the opposition, Couasnon respects Ecclestone’s decisions and opinions.

“I also understand people say Pirelli has done a good job, but if I listen to the teams and drivers, not everybody agrees on that.

“If the request is for more pit stops then there is a way to provoke them, but also with tyres that do not degrade as much. Maybe we need to find a solution that respects some guidelines.

“What’s important for us is being able to propose some ideas.”

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