Pirelli Wants to Be Formula 1's Sole Tire Supplier
The Japanese company intends to retire from the sport at the end of this year and the FIA is analyzing the possibility to revert to the previous system, where two suppliers competed in F1.
Michelin also wants to return to Formula 1 next year, but the French company doesn’t want to be a sole supplier. Instead, it wishes to compete with other tire manufacturers, the opposite attitude to that of Pirelli.
"At the moment we are having discussions about a single supplier situation, not about an open market," Pirelli's racing manager Mario Isola was quoted as saying by Auto Hebdo. The latest edition of the French magazine said other tire manufacturers interested in supplying F1 teams next year are Avon, Kumho and Hankook.
Formula 1 teams are asking for a quick process of selection, in order to prepare their cars for the 2011 tire supplier, but a resolution is unlikely by the end of the Monaco race weekend. "The good news is there appears to be several companies interested in supplying tires to Formula One," said FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh.
Michelin withdrew from Formula 1 in 2006, as a result of its difficult relationship with the sport’s governing body, the FIA. Since then, Bridgestone remained the sole supplier of tires to Formula 1. At the end of 2009, the Japanese company announced it would not extend its Formula 1 contract beyond 2010. The teams involved in Formula 1 have written a letter to Bridgestone CEO last weekend in Spain to try and convince the company to continue in F1.