Michelin would consider '14 tyre supply


24 June 2013 by TF1T Staff

French tyre manufacturer Michelin would consider returning to Formula 1 if Pirelli fails to agree a new contract with the FIA.

At present, Pirelli has agreements in place with all 11 teams and F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone. It doesn't however have the all important supply contract in place with the sport's governing body, the FIA.

The federation's president, Jean Todt, is believed to be keen to see Michelin return, though it isn't clear whether he has officially approached them.

Michelin racing chief Pascal Couasnon hasn't denied their interest either, but he says changes must be made to make it attractive.

"No," Couasnon told Speedweek when asked if Michelin were against supplying F1. "We all live in the same world, and it is clear to us what Formula 1 has in terms of [promotional] visibility.

"When it comes to technology, it could be extremely interesting. We would be willing to sit down and make some suggestions in terms of the type of tyres, the right mix in terms of spectacle and challenge for tyre manufacturer."

One change he suggested was the move to bigger rims - something Pirelli are keen to see - but the biggest factor currently blocking their return is the requirement for quick wearing tyres.

"We could suggest, for example, to change the tyre dimension. Today in racing, 13-inch wheels are used, but you can't find these on any other vehicle. That does not interest us. 18 inches, that's a whole different thing," he added.

"A tyre that only lasts seven laps, that's difficult to connect with the green idea. We would only be interested if there are smarter regulations," he concluded.