CLERMONT-FERRAND, France (May 7, 2004) — Group Michelin says the single tire manufacturer plan endorsed this week by Formula One racing's governing body is “not a satisfactory solution,” although Michelin is open to proposing other solutions to lower costs and improve competition.
Max Mosley, president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), said this week the group would invite “every significant tire manufacturer worldwide” to make an offer to be the supplier. Mr. Mosley made the remarks following a meeting with team bosses agreed to go with one tire supplier starting in 2006. With the change, the FIA hopes to see lower costs, more equality among teams and increased safety.
Bridgestone Corp. also supplies tires to F1.
“I am surprised by this course of action as, when we entered Formula One in 2001, it was following strong lobbying by certain teams that wanted to benefit from the positive effects of our technology on the performance of their cars,” Edouard Michelin, chairman and CEO of Michelin, said in a statement. “What's more, their requests were supported by the Formula One organizers to heighten the sporting interest.”
Michelin added in the statement it is “very much in favor” of reducing costs in F1. The tire company also said it will consult all of its partners before taking its official position on a tire monopoly.