• Apr 9, 2010
A tire war could be sparked in Formula One within a couple of seasons if Michelin gets what it wants. The French tire manufacturer ceased its participation in the sport after F1 moved to a single-supplier formula, selecting Bridgestone as its partner. But with Bridgestone set to leave at the end of next season, team bosses reportedly met with Bernie Ecclestone in Malaysia on Friday to discuss potential replacements.

Among the offers reportedly entertained, Michelin could be back in – but with some very serious conditions. For starters, it wants not only free trackside advertising – a hit which Bernie Ecclestone would reportedly pass on to the teams – but it would also expect each team to pay for its tires, to the tune of some 2-5 million euros... per team, per season.

In addition to the compensation issue, Michelin would reportedly want the sport to switch from its current 13-inch wheels to much larger 18-inchers (presumably with lower-profile sidewalls) so that the F1 initiative could be better integrated with Michelin's sportscar racing program.

A large-scale tire war could ensue if Michelin gets what it's asking for, with Korean rubber companies Hankook or Kumho potentially joining the battle for a slice of the pie, and Bridgestone reconsidering its position.

[Source: ESPN F1 (1/2)]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I always wondered why F1 hasn't switched to a bigger rim and lower profile tire it just makes sense, other then the fact they maybe using the tire as part of the suspension?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ hashiryu

        Photoshop can easly make that for you.
        • 4 Years Ago
        and lower unsprung weight and a myriad of other things I could go on about.


        Trying to imagine an F1 car with 18" wheels in my head.... just can't seem to wrap my brain around it..
        • 4 Years Ago
        Smaller rims have less rotational inertia.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "to the tune of some 2-5 million euros..."
      The plural of of euro is euro, ahem... so drop the 's'.
        • 4 Years Ago
        the plural of euro is euros, so drop the english lesson and stick to what you know best, namely, 'ahems.'

      • 4 Years Ago
      From my recallection, the high-profile tires stem from a maximum wheel diameter regulation. That maximum wheel diameter was an attempt to restrict the braking systems used on the cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What a load of garbage. Maybe raise the rim size incrementally over a period of seasons, or PLAN for that to concide with the upcoming engine change / spec.

      Don't just drop the equivalent of DUBS on a Aveo, though, you morons. I don't want another complete chassis redesign next year, and that's what it'd take to accomodate the huge wheels.
      ALSO consider Adrian Newey's gripe on how aerodynamics would change based on the huge wheels.
      AND consider the money that would need to be spent to redesign and bolster the gearbox, ALREADY BRITTLE, when it has to accomodate that larger rim/tire combination.

      That won't help cut costs in F1. FREAKING IDIOTS. This makes no sense to me. A big F to the YOU, Michelin. I didn't miss you in F1. If this is what it takes to bring you back, then stay gone.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Comic Sans? Seriously?
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's something I've long wondered about in F1 -- millions of dollars get thrown at making them the best-handling cars on Earth, why the mandated huge tire sidewall? It kind of seems like a remnant of an era long past.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ah, nuts. Beaten by three minutes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Contrary to popular belief large diameter, low profile wheels/tyres don't improve roadholding/handling. That's why very few race cars, particularly open wheelers, have low profile tyres.

        Low profile tyres don't give the feedback, driver feel or temperature retention of tyres with a higher profile. They might have a smaller slip angle but they pass more road shock to the suspension/steering assemblies. Also smaller rims/higher profile tyres have a lower unsprung mass than larger rims/low profile tyres.

        F1 cars weigh 650kg. So even a small amount of suspension shock on slow speed corners will upset the balance/cornering ability.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why isn't the Michelin man black?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Because they originally used natural rubber which is white.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bigger side walls = Larger area for the Tire Logos...


      Just kidding.

      • 4 Years Ago
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