Michelin says it could offer Formula 1 fans the benefits of a "tyre war" spectacle even as sole supplier, if the sport’s chiefs ever decide that is a direction they want.
The French tyre manufacturer has kept a close eye on developments in F1 since it pulled out at the end of 2006, but recently elected not to join the FIA’s tyre tender bid from 2020 to 2023 because it did not like what was on offer.
Michelin was clear that the costs of producing 13-inch wheels for just one year, allied to a request for high degradation tyres, did not fit in with its company policy.
Reflecting on its decision and what could make Michelin change its mind in the future, its motorsport boss Pascal Couasnon has suggested that Michelin's real interest is in delivering something different for F1.
Couasnon believes that the success Michelin has had in MotoGP – where a variety of tyre choices have helped make the racing unpredictable – shows what F1 could have in the future if it opened up on what was allowed.
“Is F1 good today? That would be my question,” Couasnon told Motorsport .com in an exclusive interview.
“The sport and the [tyre] manufacturer would have to take a risk, but compared to today [it could be good].
“Look at MotoGP. We bring three types of tyres for the front and the rear, and the riders can choose. You then finish the race with three different combinations on the podium.
“The best compliment we have received from journalists is that Michelin has recreated a tyre war with one brand, and that is what we would love to do for F1.
“Let’s not forget also in endurance racing for example, in GTs, we deliver specific tyres for each car because there is such a difference between a Ferrari, a Porsche, an Aston and a Corvette. And nobody complains because we work hard to give the best package possible, so everybody can fight. That is the philosophy we would like to bring to F1.”
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