Michelin warns that delay is jeopardizing 2011 tires

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I’m not sure this is the way to beat Pirelli, but a Michelin representative has said that the delayed decision about which company’s tires Formula 1 will use in 2011 is on the verge of hampering next year’s tire development.

Autosport picks up Michelin “competitors chief” (I think Grace may have a new title around F1B) Nick Shorrock’s comments:

“Since the trip that I made to Istanbul two weeks ago, the objective of which was to meet with the teams to talk about the details of our offer, I’ve had no feedback, but I am expecting some.

“But time is getting very tight to develop a product that is consistent, delivers good performance and above all is safe. Michelin has vast experience of competition in different disciplines in F1, and endurance gives us a very strong base to develop whatever tyre. The sooner the better because then we can start working in earnest.”

[snip]

“Within the next couple of weeks if there’s not enough information then it’s going to make life extremely hard for all parties. My past experience of F1 is around this time people start moving on to next year’s car. If you’re not on board in June/July time you will be struggling.”

Shorrock’s comments come after FIA President Jean Todt earlier this week said that the FIA and FOM will be the ones who make the decision, not the members of FOTA. (No official response from FOTA to that as far as I’ve seen.)

All the rumors say Pirelli is the pick, and it hasn’t been very clear why the delay. If Todt’s comments suggest that he, or really more so Bernie Ecclestone, has gotten involved, that would provide a tidy explanation.

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