Michelin enter bidding for F1 tyre contract
LONDON (Reuters) - Michelin have made a bid to supply tyres to Formula One from 2017, providing the sport agrees to them being bigger and longer-lasting.
The French tyre maker announced on its Twitter feed that it had entered a tender, launched by the governing body, before a Wednesday deadline.
Current supplier Pirelli are considered the favored candidates, with some senior figures in the sport opposed to a switch to 18-inch wheels from the current 13-inch ones.
"Whether we'll be selected or not, we'll see," Michelin motorsport head Pascal Couasnon told motorsport.com.
"But I'd say we want to be coherent with our proposals and offer the opportunity to the teams and the drivers to have a tyre that enables everyone to express themselves and drive to the max."
Drivers regularly complain that the current rules force them to look after fast-deteriorating tyres and ease off the throttle to save fuel.
Michelin withdrew from Formula One in 2006, a year after a farcical U.S. Grand Prix that went ahead with only six cars after all the Michelin-equipped teams withdrew on safety grounds.
Formula One has had a sole supplier since then, with Bridgestone replaced by Pirelli in 2011.
Couasnon said Michelin preferred competition but the technological challenge could come from the rules themselves. Continued...