BID TO RETURN TO F1: Tyre supplier Michelin could return to F1. Image: Clive Rose / AFP
PARIS, France - Michelin has confirmed its interest in returning to Formula 1.
Italy's Autosprint has reported that the ex-F1 tyre supplier could compete with Pirelli in the upcoming tender process to become the sport's official partner from 2017.
As the 'tyre war' era ended in 2006, and due to its difficult relationship with the governing body, Michelin left F1.
'F1 NEEDS TO CHANGE'
The tyremaker's motorsport director, Pascal Couasnon, said: "We are open to a return but there are conditions. F1 needs to change the technical regulations - the tyre must again be a technical object rather than a tool for a spectacular show."
F1 is already considering a change of regulations for 2017 with the current generation of Pirelli tyres often criticised for their swift degradation and poor performance.
Michelin is involved in sports cars, the World Rally championship, and Formula E. As for F1, Couasnon said: "We want 18" tyres that we will use in Formula E, and soon in other series. If F1 takes our proposals into account then we are prepared and we have a strong will to return. If things stay as they are, we are not interested.
"We will submit our application then it's up to Ecclestone and the federation."
He said F1 tyres should have stable performance and grip: "It is not normal for drivers to say after a few laps 'I have to slow down to save the tyres'. This should not be. Today's F1 drivers cannot show their talent because the tyres do not allow it.
"This happens when there is only one manufacturer and no motivation to improve but if there is a technically interesting rule book then you have to develop your best product even if you are the only supplier."
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