By Alex Kapadia
An announcement is expected later this month confirming that Michelin tyres will be returning to Formula One for the first time since it quit at the end of 2006.
Autosport has reported that the French tyres manufacturer is in “advanced negotiations with FIA about the terms of a return to the sport.
According to reports: ”A formal announcement confirming Michelin’s role is expected this month.”
Normally the sport requires that standard tyre suppliers go through an official FIA tender process.
However, Autosport has reported that the governing body may allow “any qualified manufacturer in.”
According to the reports, a potential Michelin return could see Bibendum compete against tyre manufacturers such as Hankook and Kumho, which have also been linked with a possible move into F1.
Various rumors say that two key sticking points are that Michelin wants to be paid between 2 and 5 million euros per team it supplies and wants free on-track advertising at each F1 event.
In addition, Michelin wants FIA to increase the series’ prescribed wheel diameter from its current 13 inches to 18 inches to be more in line with other motorsport tyres it produces.