Michelin reportedly wants back into Formula One, but it has certain conditions first. The French rubber company last supplied tires to F1 in 2006 when it competed with Bridgestone. Its tenure in the series was punctuated by the famous debacle of the 2005 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis, when Michelin determined its tires were not suitable for the high-speed sections of the track along the banked oval, leaving only the half-dozen Bridgestone-shone entries to compete.

After 2006 Bridgestone took over as sole supplier, with the contract going to Pirelli in 2011. That deal is up for renewal at the end of next year, when the latest reports indicate that Michelin will bid for the tender instead – if certain conditions are met.

For one thing, Michelin wants to switch to 18-inch wheels – just like the ones it supplies to the Formula E championship and the ones which Pirelli proposed. The FIA would also have to be amenable to Michelin making more technologically advanced compounds than it demands of Pirelli, which was tasked with making tires that would degrade quickly and force drivers to pit more often – but which critics say has prevented the drivers from doing their best.

It's a development which the company's racing chief Pascal Couasnon describes as "mediocrity, not technology." And that's not something Michelin wants to be part of.

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