F1 tyre war now possible, reckons Michelin

Michelin is convinced that it is possible to have a tyre war in Formula 1 again, without costs spiralling out of control.

F1 has not had competition between tyre manufacturers since Michelin and Bridgestone went head to head for the final time in 2006.

On cost grounds, F1 elected to have just a single supplier: with Bridgestone staying in F1 until 2010 after which Pirelli stepped in.

Although F1 is happy sticking to a single supplier, Michelin says it would welcome the possibility of competition in grand prix racing.

Michelin's motorsport boss Pascal Couasnon, whose company has applied for the 2017 tyre tender, told Motorsport.com: "We would love it. There would be a big scream of joy in Clermont-Ferrand!"

Cost fears unfounded

The major argument against a tyre war is that it will raise costs for both teams and suppliers, but Couasnon says it won't necessarily turn into a spending race.

"It could be more expensive than if you were by yourself, but the times are very different from 2005 and 2006," he explained. "There are a limited number of test days today, so just by that you limit the cost.

"Today the teams are also spending a lot of time trying to understand the tyre, trying to use it better, so are they going to spend much more money if there are two tyres? I don't think so.

"In sportscar racing, Michelin and Dunlop are there. Okay it's open, but the costs are very well controlled.

"I would say it's possible to have tyre competition. I will not say war because when you talk about war you're talking about a lot of resources. But with controlled resources, for a good battle, it is possible..."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news
Tags michelin, pirelli