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Michelin question single tyre proposal 07 May 2004

Tyres in the paddock.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Preparations, Barcelona, Spain, 6 May 2004

Michelin have voiced their concern over the announcement this week that Formula One racing intends to switch to a single tyre supplier by 2008.

The French company currently works with six teams (Williams, McLaren, Renault, BAR, Jaguar and Toyota), while Japanese rivals Bridgestone supply the other four (Ferrari, Sauber, Jordan and Minardi).

However, as part of the proposals put forward by the FIA to cut costs in the sport, in the future all cars could use control tyres supplied by just one manufacturer. Michelin say they have not been officially consulted on the subject yet, but are surprised by the move.

“When we entered Formula One in 2001, it was following strong lobbying by certain teams that wanted to benefit from the positive effects of our technology on the performance of their cars,” said Michelin Group Chairman and CEO, Edouard Michelin. “What’s more, their requests were supported by the Formula One organisers to heighten the sporting interest.”

In a statement, the company added: “Michelin have decided to consult with all its partners before making its position known on the very important subject of an eventual single tyre monopoly. Michelin is of course very much in favour of the objective to reduce costs in F1, costs which have increased greatly in recent years.

“Faced with this objective, Michelin believes the single tyre manufacturer option is not a satisfactory solution. On the other hand, Michelin would like to propose a number of solutions to reduce costs while maintaining the spirit of competition, that is to say the possibility of comparing one’s performance against that of one’s competitors, within the framework of clear and stable rules.”