Michelin has revealed that it is in talks with the FIA over a possible return to Formula One next year as the sports sole tyres supplier – but only if strict conditions are met.
A senior figure for the French tyres manufacturer confirmed it is considering stepping into the shoes of Bridgestone, which bows out of the sport at the end of the 2010 season.
Michelin, which went head-to-head with its Japanese rival during F1’s last tyre war in 2001-2006, quit the sport four years ago after the FIA revealed plans to have a single tyre manufacturer for all the teams from 2008.
However, a comeback for the French firm as the next sole tyre supplier could be on the cards after one of its managing partners Jean-Dominique Senard told Bloomberg that it was holding “formal discussions” with the FIA.
Senard told the news agency: “We might consider returning but there are some very clear conditions.”
He said that any Michelin return would require a change in the tyre regulations from 2011 so to “show the performance they can bring, notably in terms of fuel saving and CO2 reductions”.
Michelin retired early from its last foray into the world of F1, following the infamous US Grand Prix in 2005 when after bringing tyres which were deemed unsafe to race, a six-car race took place between the Bridgestone-shod teams after the sport’s stakeholders failed to agree a compromise solution.