It seems that F1 has caught the attention of Italian tire maker Pirelli according to AUTOSPORT. While Michelin have suggested they are in talks with the Formula One Teams Association and the FIA, it was announced that Cooper Avon was also being courted by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone of Formula One Management.
We suspected that Ecclestone may not have been entirely pleased with the demands that Michelin was making as a condition of their return to the sport and logically sought another company with which to fashion a contract molded to the exact demands of the FOM. What makes it more intriguing is that FOTA had agreed in principle to Michelin’s arrangement and was seeking unanimity with the FIA on allowing the French company to re-enter the F1 series a the sole supplier.
The plot thickens as Pirelli has announced that is is engaging in a feasibility study internally to determine their level of interest in joining the series as a sole supplier. As AUTOSPORT points out, Michelin are keen to see competition within F1 from a tire perspective and said as much when they left the sport.
Pirelli, on the other hand, are very keen to see a single supplier situation under the guise of keeping costs in F1 down. If you ask me, this is the kind of talk that will see them win the contract. It almost seems if they are reading the FIA/FOM script of why a single supplier is being used in F1.
“We are always in contract, and remain in contact, with the FIA and the F1 promoter – and that is something that continues year on year. We’ve been aware of the ongoing situation in F1 and that is really what has led to our latest situation.”
“We wouldn’t rule out a tyre war at this moment, but at this current time I don’t think there is a huge appetite to spend large sums of money developing tyres to go faster,” he said. “Of course these things go in waves and at some point that may be the correct approach, but at the moment teams are more interested in bringing costs down.”
So what would it mean for the Italian tire maker to enter F1? I think it would be terrific and would afford them some global brand recognition they need in an ever increasing market of competition.
The biggest challenge now is identifying a supplier so they can make decisions on the tire spec so the teams can start building their cars for 2010. The process takes a lot of time and the 2011 cars are starting to be designed now so time is of the essence?
Should F1 get back in to a tire war? Will the FIA/FOM edict of a single supplier and low cost remain true in 2010? Would a series with Cooper Avon, Michelin and Pirelli offer us a better racing experience and actually reduce costs in F1 or increase them? What do you think? Leave us your thoughts below.