CLERMONT-FERRAND, France (June 17, 2015) — Michelin Motorsports has submitted a bid to become the official race tire supplier for Formula 1, according to a tweet sent out June 16 by the Group Michelin unit.
The tweet, sent out about 9 p.m. Central European Daylight time, linked to a story on Motorsport.com, which cited Michelin Motorsports Director Pascal Couasnon saying the French company had submitted a bid ahead of the June 17 deadline set by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, the Paris-based sanctioning body for F1.
Michelin's bid apparently depends on the FIA's agreeing to change the tire designation to an 18-inch rim diameter spec from the 13-inch spec that's been in place for decades. Michelin last supplied tires to F1 in 2007.
The Motorsport.com article supports comments Mr. Couasnon made in late May as part of a contract renewal with the the organizers of the World Series by Renault racing series that it is switching to 18- and 17-inch race tires next year for its FR3.5 and FR2.0 championships.
Michelin would be competing for the contract with Pirelli Tyre S.p.A., which has been the sole tire supplier for Formula 1 since the 2011 season and already has submitted its bid to continue through the 2019 season.
Pirelli also is pitching the FIA on switching the tire spec to 18 inches. It's staged a number of public demonstrations of the proposed alternative, most recently during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend at Monte Carlo.