CLERMONT-FERRAND, France (May 11, 2010)—Michelin's interest in supplying tires to the international Formula 1 racing series apparently comes with the caveat that F1 abandon its single-supplier contract status.
Michelin Managing Partner Didier Miraton told shareholders at a meeting in Clermont-Ferrand that Michelin favors competition among tire makers in motorsports and that this philosophy carries over into its discussions with the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, Formula 1's governing body.
“We are in the process of talking with the federation and the different players that govern F1,” Miraton said in response to a question from a shareholder, “(and) just in the context of stating that Michelin, if the multibrand system were reinstated ... would be ready to consider things.”
Miraton added Michelin would like to see the sport's governors find ways to foster competition among suppliers and to acknowledge performance aspects such a tire tread life and contribution to fuel economy.
The contract to supply tires to Formula 1 is open from 2011, as current supplier Bridgestone Corp. has told the FIA this is its last season in the role.
Michelin last participated in Formula 1 in the 2007 season, before the FIA instituted its single-supplier rule.
Pirelli Tyre S.p.A. and Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s Avon Motorsports unit also are in discussions with the FIA about the contract.