Ecclestone isn’t keen on Michelin’s tire concept

As with most points in Formula 1, there are usually counter points and the issue of the tires is no different. Yesterday we discussed the comments from Michelin regarding a return to the sport as a supplier. The issue at hand was that the French company would be keen on returning if F1 made some changes to their tire format…namely, ditch the high degradation scheme and make them bigger.

F1 boss Bernie Ecclstone has a differing view to Michelin’s about whether these ideas are good for the sport and according to an AUTOSPORT article, he believes Michelin’s ideas would not be good:


“At the moment Pirelli have gone through a period where they know exactly what we want.

“That’s always difficult for them because if they make a tyre that is a bit on the limit, as we know, they get slaughtered.

“But in the meantime they are prepared to do that.

“All Michelin would do is make a rock-hard tyre that you could put on in January and take off in December because they don’t want to be in a position where they can be criticised.

“That would make absolutely 100 per cent sure, if there was a question mark about Mercedes winning, it would be removed.

“It would be all the things we don’t want, and goes against all the things Pirelli have had the courage to do from what we have asked, which has made for some bloody good racing.

“If we had a rock-hard tyre, we could just forget about that.”

Ecclestone is also unimpressed by Michelin’s preference for 18-inch tyres.

“I don’t like them. They’re horrible looking,” he said.

“We want our cars to look aggressive, to look like race cars.

“Pirelli will always do what we ask them to do, and if we had to have an 18-inch rim they could do it.

“But we change things that don’t need changing, and things that need changing we don’t change.

“At the moment we don’t need to change the tyres because what is currently working works well.”


So that’s the other side of the coin. Do you agree? I have to say that I agree with him regarding Pirelli’s ability to make a tire the series requested regardless of the impact it has had on the company’s reputation.

I also believe they’ve done a very good job of supplying the series with the exception of two years ago when I think they tried to get too infused in the impact by trying to outsmart the engineers. This created all the delamination issues we saw at the British Grand Prix.


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I don’t want to hear “I can’t pass him because I’m saving the tires” ever again. The current tires in F1 don’t let the drivers drive at the limit, they are there only to “improve the show” artificially adding pit stops which is ultimately not helping the sport.


I think they did a great job in 2013, until the teams didn’t adhere to the directives of Pirelli. No delamination occurred until the teams swapped tyres (which they weren’t made for because of the asynchronous nature of the tyres) and used more camber than was directed. The only thing what was needed was the FIA telling the teams to adhere to the directives of Pirelli like they did after the change of the tyres, which resulted in a Red Bull domination for the rest of the season, because their car wasn’t as suited for the original tyres as some… Read more »

Mike Martin

Let me get this straight…..they’ve gone to the highly technical bells and whistles to appease the car manufacturers but the mention of bigger wheels, that by the way the industry and tire makers have gone to, but he says no because they look horrible? That from a guy that thinks the cars should look like they did in 1965.

Daniel Johnson

I really don’t get this at all (major indicator of ron speak), Why won’t Michelin do what you ask but Pirelli will? Both companies don’t want another Silverstone or Indy, but they do want positive publicity. I don’t see how any of this would lead to Michelin creating a rock hard tire?


No, but Michelin also don’t want fast degrading tyres to improve the spectacle as Pirelli does.


Bernie typically fights against any proposed change to F1, I think he’d prefer it if all the teams were still running the same cars they ran in 1995. The truth is, Michelin’s tires wouldn’t be “rock hard”, because rock hard tires are slow, kinda like the current Pirellis, and if they were that hard then all the teams and drivers would be complaining about them. F1 has never had a real problem with tires that were so durable they’d last an entire race…except for 2005. As for the looks, who likes the looks of 13″ wheels? The tires look like… Read more »

Paul KieferJr

I don’t think any of them even thought about asking the people want they want. The question really boils down to this: Who do we want to dictate the race? Do we want teams and/or administrators or do we want the men and/or women drivers to dictate what shall or shall not be?

Andreas Möller

It’s just the usual Bernie bravado and smokescreens. Of course Michelin wouldn’t make a tyre to last a whole season – probably not even a whole race, although that bit could be entirely possible. If refueling comes back, it could be used to raise the max fuel pressure and max fuel allowed, without having to rebuild the cars to fit a larger tank. Since that means pit stops will be inevitable, it might be in Michelin’s interest to offer different tyre compounds as well. Either way, a tyre war could be a good thing for F1. As to the 18″… Read more »