Rumours are rife in the Formula One paddock that Michelin may return to the sport under a very different set of tyres regulations.
Apparently the subject dominated Bernie Ecclestone and F1 team bosses on Friday and no wonder, since the loss of Bridgestone as an official tyre supplier at the end of the season is a pressing concern.
Reports suggest that the French tyre manufacturer is willing to return to the sport, however there will be plenty of strings attached.
The rumour mill has it that Michelin “wants money” and to work with a tyre formula closer to its other current sports car projects.
Apparently it is asking for between €2-5 million per team per season as well as free advertising around circuits.
Its other proviso is that the tyres would be mounted on 18 inch rims rather than the current 13 inch ones, in order to allow Michelin to share its technology between F1 and its current racing series.
There are also suggestions that a new tyre war might break out, as Bridgestone is rumoured to be rethinking its decision to leave F1 if the teams pay for their supply contracts. Korean manufacturers Hankook or Kumho are also being linked as potential competitors.
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team