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Michelin to withdraw at end of 2006 14 Dec 2005

Michelin tyre is washed.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19,  Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, 14 October 2005

Tyre suppliers Michelin are to end their involvement in the sport at the end of next season. It follows the French company’s long-running disagreement with Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, over plans to switch to a single tyre supplier.

The FIA had intended to make that switch in 2008, claiming it will reduce costs and make the sport fairer and safer. However, in light of Michelin’s withdrawal, the move is now likely to happen a year earlier, in time for the 2007 season.

In a statement, Michelin said that competition between tyre suppliers, and the technical innovation which that competition inspires, has always been one of the key reasons for their participation in Formula One racing.

With that element of competition removed, and in light of what Michelin described as “constant changes to racing regulations without warning”, the company said that “continuing to make long-term investments in Formula One no longer presents the same interest.”

Michelin added that they would not hesitate in contemplating a future return to the sport, should circumstances change to their liking.