Pirelli and Michelin, being the two contenders for Formula 1 tyre supplier contract, had until July 17, 2015 to convince motorsports’ world governing body with their proposals. Their proposals will comply with F1 technical and safety requirements. Both the tyre manufacturers have confirmed their submission to Bernie Ecclestone, the commercial rights holder of Formula 1, who will make the final decision after weighing up the commercial aspect of each of these bids.
Before announcing the winner of the 2017-2019 tyre supplier contract in September, Bernie will hold discussions next week with Paul Hembery and Pascal Couasnon, Motorsport Director of Pirelli and Michelin, respectively.
Paul Hembery, Motorsport Director of Pirelli said, “Obviously we have a history of 100 years of motorsports and we have been in Formula 1 for five years. That is a basis for a lot of the validation, if you like, from the FIA’s point of view. We are a known, established, high-quality provider to the motorsport world and that is really the approval basis. In terms of the technical aspects, we have said we will comply with the requirements of Formula 1. If they want to make changes to the regulations then we will give our maximum to follow them. We will follow the rules and comply with the decisions of the teams, the promoters and the FIA. We obviously have no idea as to what proposals they [Michelin] have made, and what proposals they will make to Bernie. Ultimately, it is a commercial decision now. The FIA has done its part, which is to qualify the supplier, and now it is down to the commercial rights holder to decide the most appropriate partner for the sport. We will, of course, enter into a phase of discussion with the promoter, looking at all aspects of the commercial agreement. I am sure he will do the same with the other party and then make an informed decision.”
Michelin had earlier said that they will enter Formula 1 only if the cars switch from 13 inch to 18 inch wheel size and want to produce long-lasting tyres that the drivers could enjoy.
In May, Ecclestone said that Michelin’s return to F1 after 2006 would not be good, suggesting that all it would do is “make a rock-hard tyre you could put on in January and take off in December because they do not want to be in a position where they can be criticised.”