Fernando Alonso, Renault, Suzuka, 2006

More rumours of Michelin F1 return in 2014

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Renault, Suzuka, 2006In the round-up: Fresh rumours link Michelin to a return to Formula One next year as the official tyre supplier.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Michelin could be 2014 tyre supplier (BBC)

“The French company has had discussions with governing body the FIA about taking over from Pirelli, high-level sources say.”

Pirelli says F1 tyre tender would be farcical (Reuters)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: “Quite frankly a tender [for the F1 tyre supply contract] in September when you are running in January would be farcical. You should have done that in September last year. Everybody would look ridiculous in that scenario.”

Hamilton: pole was unlikely in dry (Autosport)

“Red Bull was looking particularly quick and also Ferrari was looking quite quick in the dry conditions, so [I’m] not necessarily sure we had the pace to be as fast today.”

Jenson Button: “We weren’t lucky in qualifying…” (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“We weren?t lucky in qualifying, we didn?t make any outstanding judgement calls. We did a good job in terms of the car was working well, and we didn?t make any mistakes under pressure.”

Button Q&A (Sky)

“I have been asked about it non-stop today! All about a certain team – non-stop by every single journalist. But I am surprised that they asked because I supposedly have a contract for next year, so I shouldn’t be asked really.”

Q&A with Vijay Mallya: A miracle seemed possible (F1)

“Some circuits suit our car better – and Spa has always suited us because we don?t have the extraordinary downforce, and therefore low-downforce circuits suit us a bit better.”

Lauda’s life lessons for Hamilton (The Telegraph)

“‘I was very impressed,’ Lauda says of [Daniel] Bruhl?s performance [in Rush]. ‘I couldn?t believe how well he [impersonated me]. He was even worse than I was. ‘—- you!’ ‘—- this!’ He did a very good job.'”


Comment of the day

Lewis Hamilton is on pole position but @MNM101 reckons his team mate was the real star of qualifying:

If anyone was impressive it would be Rosberg, the two laps he put in towards the end were incredible and much faster than anyone else in the same conditions.

From the forum

  • Some heavy crashes in the GP2 and GP3 races at Spa yesterday

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Hugh and Michael Williamson!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

David Hampshire, who was on the grid for the first ever world championship race at Silverstone in 1950, died on this day in 1990. He finished ninth in a Maserati 4clt in that race and only made one further grand prix start, at Reims later that year.

Image ?? Renault/LAT

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  • 55 comments on “More rumours of Michelin F1 return in 2014”

    1. I kind of agree with Hembry on this one, the tire supplier should be something that’s figured out a year or 18 months before the start of their season so that they have the proper amount of time to develop & test the tire.

      1. @fisha695, and it would be particularly unfair to Pirelli to award Michelin a contract to supply F1 with long lasting durable tyres after Pirelli has been supplying unreliable fragile tyres by design as requested.

        1. But I do hope we get more durable tyres and less/no pit stops.

        2. I agree. It would be incredibly annoying to Pirelli, and myself really, if F1 have Michelin as a supplier with the old 2005-type tire regulations.

          1. I’d love to see Michelin tyres for Ferrari and Pirelli tyres for everyone else! ;-)

    2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      25th August 2013, 0:38

      I really do hope Mclaren keep Jenson. He’s consistently outperformed Perez and I feel it would be unwise to let him go at this stage.

      1. Everybody has heard about Jensons move apparently, except Jenson and the editors of F1 news publications. So is it Jenson to RBR or Lotus or Ferrari, it’s musical chairs, will it be Dan, Kimi, Jenson or Hulk, left standing ?

      2. The only way I can see Button leaving is if McLaren decide they really want Vandoorne or Magnussen to enter Formula 1.

        1. They can show they really want one of them to enter F1 by sticking one in a Marussia or something for the time being.

    3. 18 months?? I’m not sure if we are even yet decided for this year :)

    4. To be frank Lewis, I think a car that has scored I’m pretty sure every pole position in a fully dry qualifying session is naturally going to be in contention in the dry.

      1. The problem being that Merc went conservative with their setup, and thus if it were fully dry, probably wouldnt have been in contention for pole.

      2. I tend to agree with him, I think what got Lewis pole is that Merc went for a high downforce setup as opposed to RBR, which gave them an advantage in the wet conditions, nevertheless you are correct and it wouldn’t be “impossible” for him to get pole in the dry

        1. The thing with Spa and setups has always been: low downforce = good S1 and S3 and high downforce = good S2. Obviously his choice of setup really rewarded him in S2 in those conditions.

          I do expect for at least one Red Bull to pass him on the straight after Eau Rouge though. If it’s dry, on the first lap.

          1. you’re reading my mind :)

    5. Tyres again, I think it would be grossly unfair to punish Pirelli and dump them for giving F1 the unpredictability FIA/FOM demanded.

      However I am hoping that Michelins demand for more durable tyres without mandatory pit stops is adopted for next year regardless of who is the supplier and as PH says changing now/Sept. would be ludicrous.

      1. Dropping the requirement for a pit stop would be a nightmare. It completely removes any element of strategy from the race, and some if the smaller teams need that strategy to secure decent results. Instead, Formula 1 would just degenerate into a contest to see who could get out the front first. They would be free to control the race as they liked, and if their rivals started to catch up, all they would have to do is push harder, knowing their tyres could go the distance. The race would be a mere formality, with 99% of the result decided in qualifying.

      2. Are our normal road car tyres as durable as they could be?
        Could that durability be improved upon?
        F1 should be the testing ground for such, and help make road cars even better.

        1. Do you remember when Bridgestone insisted on making those ultra-durable tyres? I do. The racing was pretty boring. In fact, the only real race was to the first corner. After that, everyone just settled into position.

          But hey, Bridgestone’s road tyres would have been great, so let’s concentrate on that. Never mind the racing – every decision should be made with the marketing potential for a supplier as the top priority.

          1. It perhaps won’t be as dreadful as 2010 since the DRS at least means that a driver no longer needs to be 3 secs per lap faster than the car a head in order to pass him.

            But I agree with your main point. Even if they keep the mandatory pitstop rule, there would still be no variation in strategy. Everyone starts on the soft tyres and then switches to the hards about 1/3 into the race. I don’t like watching a driver make 4 stops and still having to take it easy all race as much as anyone, but strategy still needs to be a big part of F1.

            If we’re just going to make F1 so that the fastest driver/car always wins, we might as well just do away with the race and award points based on qualifying.

          2. @prisoner-monkeys
            You probably say that because of the Ferrari/Schumi dominance era but I didn´t see any of the other Bridgestone wearing car up there in the mix! Maybe Michael had a lot to do with that! All the Bridgestone bearing cars had the same tyres and if they were so superior tyres, then all of those teams should have gotten the top places in their championships!

            1. He means the 2010 season. No refueling and very very durable tyres. Remember Vettel ran almost the whole of the Italian GP on one set of option tyres, switching to primes on the last lap only because the rules said he had to.

              The racing in 2010 was dreadful. Especially in the second half when every team had figured out their car’s balance, fuel consumption and their variant of the F-duct.

        2. Personally I don’t think F1 is at all suitable as a testing ground for improving durability of road tyres.

          1. But F1 could develop synthetic compounds that are just as durable as current cars use but that have superior grip and rolling resistance.

            1. The problem is that the requirements for a racing tyre are often completely opposed to that of a road tyre, and tyres for the road have to factor in many other issues that are irrelevant in motorsport (for example, having to meet strict limitations on noise emissions). Having spoken to a tyre engineer, he was of the firm opinion that the demands of motorsport and the general public are so diametrically opposed that the idea of technological transfer from the track to the road was virtually impossible, and I would be inclined to support that view.

      3. @hohum Dropping the requirement for a pit stop would be an excellent move. It would replace an artificial element of strategy from the race and replace it with an authentic one. Drivers would have the choice of not making a pit stop if they didn’t need to. I’m all in favour.

        1. But if the ultra durable tyres can last to the end whilst pushing, who’s going to see the need to pit? They should keep the Pirelli’s and remove the need to start on the tyres you qualified on (just the same type), and remove the need to run both types during the race.

        2. @keithcollantine
          What is this??? Are you conceding that it would be ok that Michelin came in and we had a tyre war if they remove the pit stop requirement?? Wow! I am shocked! But I also agree! Then that would really be a tyre war and that is the way it should be! Let the teams decide what they want to use and when they want to use them, don´t impose anything I say!

          1. if the tyres were able to last the whole race that would be great. But only with tyres that were very marginal to do it. If they easily lasted a race that would be dull.

            It again takes us back to the great 2005 season. We had exactly that then. The tyres would do the whole race at a very good speed but if you over did it you were in trouble. So you had to be careful. It led to races that went down to the last lap for the first time in years! Imola, Germany, Suzuka. Classic races! Because the tyres didnt fall off a cliff they just wore out like tyres naturally should, drivers even on overly worn tyres could race. Rather than just waving the guy through.

          2. @karter22 I didn’t say anything about Michelin or a tyre war. I just said – as I have many times before – that forcing drivers to make pit stops is nonsense.

            1. Ah I see. Opens up another strategy avenue with these tyres.

          3. Ever-lasting Michelins would be just what Merc need. Bring it on ;]

        3. @keithcollantine I have to say, I don’t see the logic. Strategic tyre stops made sense in an era where less information was available, and strategy decisions were made partly on instinct, and you could take advantage of another team’s operational weakness. I don’t see how removing the mandatory tyre stop makes any difference. The only way to make tyre stops “optional” and therefore strategic is when the tyres are able to do a race distance. If that’s the case, as we’ve seen, the racing is boring. Once you make a construction which lasts a full distance, multiple stops don’t work.

          The other option is that tyres don’t last the distance, but then the only strategy is different tyre types. So what do you do then? Make two different types of compound. And if you have two different types of compound, the only way to make teams choose one over the other is to make them fundamentally different in terms of speed and wear rates. If you work the tyres to last X laps, that’s always going to be the case.

          So: either you engineer a rule which forces drivers to change tyres, or you engineer the constructions which forces drivers to change tyres. Same result.

        4. @keithcollantine, thanks, nice to know we can agree on something. When I 1st. started following F1 pit stops were due to a problem, not a tactical necessity, and their mandatory introduction spoiled rather than improved the racing for me. I think MotoGP have the right tyre rules, 1 supplier, soft or hard, driver chooses, soft get up to temperature early but are marginal for a full race distance, hard are slower to get up to temperature but last right to the end without loseing grip and of course a pit stop puts you at the back.

    6. So Kimi and Nando are just gonna hand over the title to Vettel? How disappointing. If there ever was a track for all the Ferraris, Lotuses and Mercs to beat Redbull this was it. Lewis alone will not catch up to Vettel. I was really hopping we could get to Brazil with 4 drivers in with a shout, but it seems Lotus and Ferrari are really really flailing in the dark.

    7. So basically Michelin wants F1 without pitstops? I wouldn’t mind that to be honest, but only if Pirelli stays, otherwise what’s the challenge?

      1. Michelin wants to be rollin on 18’s

        1. @mantresx
          Michelin want F1 without pit stops because historically speaking, Michelin have always been a beast at creating tyres which last an eternity. This is why the Michael Schumacher domination reign ended in 2005, the new regulations enforced that teams cannot change tyres throughout the race; as a result, Bridgestone tyre cars were always falling back like a stone in the race, while Michelin tyre cars dominated in this field. It was always that way, Bridgestone tyres were quick to heat, Michelin’s lasted forever.

      2. @mantresx, The challenge ? Completing the race faster than the other guys.

        1. @hohum I meant what’s the challenge for Michelin, right now Pirelli’s challenge is to make a tyre that degrades but doesn’t explode (to see them struggling makes it interesting), but to make them last a race? without competition? easy!

    8. In my personal opinion i think that the Michelin rumor (or the Michelin-Gate) is just a political maneuver from the FIA to put the pressure on Pirelli after all the FIA is governed by a French man, maybe Michelin are really interested to be back in F1 but with today’s reality i personally think it’s a bit difficult, they have achieved what they wanted and when they decided to quit they were world champions with Renault in 2006, if they are really interested in returning to the sport that would be to achieve something even bigger from what they have done in the past & that is almost impossible with the current regulations (limited testing for example ) which limits the space of technological innovation

    9. What company is that flower logo on the Renault pictured above?

      1. Guru clothes

    10. Michelin could come in for 2014 easily. They know how to build a tough tyre and even Pirelli have no experience of the 2014 car yet.

    11. Or you scrap a tender altogether, and have a tire war. Oh wait, no one wants to spend any money….

    12. Why can’t we have both suppliers in F1 at the same time. But instead of having each team having a supply contract with a particular supplier, teams are required to nominate how many sets of each tyre they want after FP2 (with there being a fixed number of total sets they can use). Each supplier has three dry weather compounds they can choose from, but only supplies one per event.

      Then it’s a matter for the suppliers to pick which of their compounds is best for the track, but taking into account what the other supplier might do. So one of them might go for soft (fast and low durability) and the other goes for hard (slow and high durability).
      Wet weather tyres will be supplied to teams based on their preference, with their majority pick being their wet weather preference. So the supplier with the better wet tyres may influence the choice of the teams if there is any chance of wet weather.

      Hopefully this allows both suppliers to be in F1 and gain some marketing advantage from it.

    13. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
      25th August 2013, 5:32

      Hey guys isn’t that Alonso’s Renault?

      1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
        25th August 2013, 8:52

        Alonso or Fisichella… Though clicking the picture it says Alonso.

    14. Keith, your round-ups are really great. It was a brilliant idea of yours.

      Michelin believes the 13-inch wheels have no relevance to road cars.

      Erm, what are the sizes of wheels for road cars?

      I don’t know about you guys, but I could certainly make more out of my life if I had more of a carpe diem attitude. This statement from Lauda about the dangerous 70s F1 era really made me think.

      “It was a completely different sport so therefore the drivers were more charismatic, had more personality, bigger characters, more egocentric, more screwing, more enjoying life… because you never knew when it might be over.”

      1. RaceProUK (@)
        25th August 2013, 10:38

        Erm, what are the sizes of wheels for road cars?

        Nowadays? 15″+

    15. McLaren cannot afford to head in the direction of a young driver program yet. The need some wins first

      1. They’re not rookies – they have had 00’s of wins.

        1. Based on their last fews years, they are going backwards

    16. Kimi, DO THE CHANGE NOW! Stop wasting your last years in a 4th best team!

    17. Let’s not talk “tyre wars” — just “open market.” F1 is about winning, that means going fast and the tyre is a major component. It doesn’t matter whether a tyre will last one (or ten) races, or whether a softer compound and three pits stops is the fastest solution. The relevance to road tyres is not just longevity but safety and braking, including wet weather. The commercial cost is irrelevant, no supplier will price themselves out of the market if they’re not guaranteed “sole supplier” status. What are Pirelli afraid of?

      It doesn’t matter whether Michelin or Pirelli can produce the best solution, but we won’t know until they race alongside each other. And that will be good for the sport.

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