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Michelin willing to shed teams 20 Jul 2005

Washed Michelin tyres.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, 8 July 2005

Michelin have suggested that Formula One racing may benefit from them supplying fewer teams in the future. Seven of the ten teams currently use Michelin rubber and, according to the French company, an eighth has now asked for a partnership agreement.

While Michelin said they were “delighted” with the confidence shown in their products, they also believe the situation does not help the development of long-term competition between tyre manufacturers - a principle to which they insist they are firmly committed.

“Formula One must remain the marvellous technological showcase that it is, thus allowing the world’s automobile players to compete, whilst offering a true show for the fans, as well as providing benefits within the automotive industry,” said Chairman and CEO, Edouard Michelin. “It is with this in mind that tyre manufacturers must be able to make their own contribution towards improving the performances of the teams they supply. This supposes that there be at least two tyre manufacturers involved, maybe even more.”

Michelin say they are therefore completely open to allowing for a more balanced split of teams among tyre manufacturers, starting as early as the 2006 season. Their comments come in the light of the FIA’s recent proposals for a single tyre supplier from 2008, which the sport's governing body believes would help keep both costs and speeds in check.

While Michelin are clearly not in favour of a single supplier, they reiterated their support for working on adapting the Formula One tyre regulations with a view to better cost-control, more exciting racing and improved safety.

Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi are the only teams not currently on Michelin tyres.