Michelin F1 tyres
The French tyre manufacturer Michelin has reitered its stance on a possible return to supplying tyres to Formula 1 teams next year, saying that it will not enter if it is the sole supplier.
At the moment, the FIA are on the lookout for a new tyre supplier, as Bridgestone will be pulling out at the end of the year. Having been a supplier of tyres from 2001 to 2006, Michelin were initially touted as a possible replacement. However, they have stressed that they will not return as a sole supplier, says a Michelin spokesman:
"We are interested in but it must be done in the right way, so
who knows what will happens.
Certain things have to be done. We must have competition - we do
not want to be the only supplier. Also, we need to be able to use
the opportunity of having competition to improve our tyre
technology; for example, our new Pilot 3 road tyres have technology
developed for Le Mans in them. We need something like this from
Formula 1 too.
Finally, it must have the possibility to improve the greenness;
perhaps we would like something like the Green X Challenge in F1
something to help ecology."
First of all, let’s ask, why would Michelin want competition? This is mainly because their new objectives are to promote environmentally friendly tyres. By gaining access back into F1, Michelin would obviously want to promote tyre technology, which they would then put on their road-going tyres, like they did with the Pilot 3 tyres that they mentioned.
So they want to save the planet? Simple solution: reduce the amount of tyres that are used. Again, doing this is simple: just bring back the old “one set of tyres per race” rule from 2005. Sure, there were problems, mainly Kimi Raikkonen’s problems, but sufficient technology should sort that out. Again, innovations in tyre technology can be put onto the road in this case. If you can develop a tyre that can provide sufficient grid for an entire F1 race, then this could be used to promote their road-going division.
The probable reason why Michelin want a second supplier is that they can beat them with better technology. If a company like Avon or Goodyear come into F1, then get slaughtered by Michelin, it would do wonders for Michelin’s reputation. Of course, the French company would still have a lot to do, after what happened in Indianapolis 2005. We won’t forget that in a hurry.