FIA boss allegedly a F1 ’Michelin man’
Pirelli’s current Formula One tyre supply agreement expires at the end of 2013, and while the Italian manufacturer would gladly sign up for a further three years a new supplier is not out of the question. And there is at least one senior individual within the sport who would gladly see former supplier Michelin make a comeback.
According to German publication Auto Bild, FIA president Jean Todt is trying to convince his fellow countrymen at Michelin to return to Formula One as tyre supplier. Under such an arrangement Michelin would replace Pirelli, as current rules forbid multiple tyre suppliers – thus denying the likes of Michael Schumacher a renewed “tyre war”.
While Todt hopes to say bonjour to Michelin in 2014, Pirelli is not yet ready to say arrivederci to F1 just yet. The tyre maker’s motorsport director, Paul Hembery, told Auto Bild that “if economic conditions are right, we want to remain (as F1 tyre supplier) in the medium-term. It is my job to ensure this.” Michelin has also previously stated it would only return if multiple tyre suppliers were once again permitted in Formula One, and according to Auto Bild the French company’s stance on the issue has not budged in recent times.