Michelin has applied to FIA’s tender process to become Formula 1’s next official tyre supplier from the 2017 onwards.
The sport’s governing body recently invited tyre manufacturers to apply for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 contract. With the deadline set on June 17 it would appear the current supplier Pirelli is set to go head-to-head with Michelin for the three-year contract.
“We have entered,” confirmed Michelin Motorsport director Pascal Couasnon. “We have been proposing ideas, talking about Formula 1 and that we are disappointed, especially where it is today tyre-wise. If you 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, we are talking, but not acting.”
Couasnon confirmed Michelin’s proposal includes 18-inch tyres and longer-lasting rubber, which could mean they proposed bringing back the one tyre for the whole race idea, as seen in 2005.
“We are trying to change the situation a little,” said Couasnon. “The tyre used as an object you throw away after a few laps is not really something that is good for the tyre industry. We believe there’s another way to ensure a good show, as we saw over the weekend at Le Mans, with high technology tyres lasting with good grip, and you can have a show. If they request more pit stops then there is a way to provoke them, but also with tyres that do not degrade as much.”