Just hours after it was announced that Pirelli has clinched the deal to become the official tyres supplier to Formula One, rival tyre company Michelin revealed it was never officially in the race for the contract.
It was long believed that it was a two-horse race between the Italian and the French tyres manufacturers, but according to Michelin motorsport boss Nick Shorrock, it never made an official application to take over from Bridgestone.
At one stage Michelin was considered to be the FIA’s preferred choice, however, Shorrock revealed that unless there were changes to the regulations – thought to include increasing the wheel diameter to 18 inches, a move which would see larger wheels with lower profile tyres which would change handling and suspension – it wasn’t interested in returning to F1.
He told L’Equipe: “We were asked whether we were ready to supply tyres with the regulations of 2010.
“We had discussions with the authorities, there were proposals to improve the show, to have a positive impact on the environment while controlling the costs, and of course where there is a competition of manufacturers. But the regulations did not change.
“Therefore, in the context of the current regulations remaining in force in 2011 we were not prepared to submit an official application.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team