Daily Archives: February 15, 2010

Michelin discussing return to F1

Michelin F1 tyres

Michelin F1 tyres

Tyre maker Michelin is in “formal discussions” with the FIA, concerning a possible return to Formula 1 for the company. The French team had previously supplied tyres in F1 from 2001 to 2006.

With Bridgestone announcing that this will be their last year in F1, the FIA are on the lookout for a new tyre supplier. It is rumoured that Yokohama and Avon were looking at the possibility, but these rumours appear to be unfounded.

According to Bloomberg, Managing Partner for Michelin Jean-Dominique Senard said:

“We might consider returning but there are some very clear conditions. The major point is to make sure the tyres show what they can bring to the automotive industry.”

It is understood that Michelin’s conditions are relating to environmentally friendly products. The company’s new direction appears to be in protecting the environment with their tyres. So, if Michelin could produce an F1 tyre that lasted a full race distance, and maybe the materials could be recovered afterwards, it would be a great image for the company.

Of course, when many think of Michelin, they think of Indianapolis 2005. I don’t blame these people, it was a disgrace, but I believe that it would be good to see them back, as long as they bring something innovative to the sport.

The one tyre that nearly single-handedly threw them out of the sport... Ralf Schumacher's tyre at Indianapolis 2005

The one tyre that nearly single-handedly threw them out of the sport... Ralf Schumacher's tyre at Indianapolis 2005

Flood risk for Jerez next week

Testing at Jerez last week

Testing at Jerez last week

As if the teams weren’t disadvantaged enough by the rain that hampered last week’s testing at Jerez, there is news that even worse weather is forecast for the rest of this week.

The second Jerez test begins on Wednesday, and ends on Saturday. Showers are forecast for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with very heavy rain predicted for Thursday. It is understood that the rain will probably be much heavier than last week.

The teams were looking at the possiblity of relocating to Portimao or Barcelona, but had to drop the idea because of “logistical challenges” that were involved in the move.

Rain like this is a huge problem for the teams, especially the new ones. Because of the testing ban, this is effectively the only time where drivers can get used to their new cars. The rookie drivers, like di Grassi, Petrov, and Hulkenberg need as much dry testing as they need, and heavy rain like we saw last week is a large disadvantage to them. The new teams, Lotus, USF1, Campos and Virgin, are also affected, because their cars now have much less time to be tested and worked on.

If you remember last year’s testing, where very heavy rain hampered the test at Portimao, the teams did not return this year. It would be safe to say that the teams will not return to Jerez next year.