Date: 18th June 2015 at 10:38am
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French tyre manufacturer Michelin could return to Formula One in 2017, if they win the tendering process to become the sports official supplier.

Michelin have not been involved in Formula One for the past nine years.

Their last competitive season was 2006 during the era of the ‘tyre war’ with Bridgestone.

Their official application to be Formula One’s new tyre supplier from 2017 would see them replace Pirelli, if they were to win the tendering process by the FIA to be the sole tyre supplier from 2017-2019.

However the early indications are that Pirelli will continue to supply Formula One beyond 2016, that certainly seems to be preference of Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, whilst Michelin proposals to move from 13-inch rims to 18-inch wheels appears unpopular with both Mercedes and Ferrari.

‘We are disappointed where it [Formula One] is today tyre-wise, If you want to be credible and consistent then you cannot complain or comment if you don’t bring solutions.’ ‘ Michelin’s motorsport director Pascal Couasnon told Sky Sports.

‘So it has made sense for me to say if we have ideas, then let’s go and propose these ideas and we’ll see if people are interested or not.

‘We want to be coherent with our proposals and offer the opportunity to the teams and the drivers to have a tyre that enables everyone to express themselves and drive to the max.’

The final paragraph would suggest that Michelin would also like to move away from the current brief that Pirelli are working too, which is to provide tyres with high levels of degradation to force teams into different tyre strategies and frequent pit-stops.

Michelin appear to favour the concept of providing a tyre that is easier to race with, which could prove popular with drivers.

Seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher was a critic of the Pirelli tyres when he was still active in Formula One with Mercedes and Two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso has recently also been critical adding: ‘Saving tyres and fuel from lap one is more frustrating than the pace itself – when you are so slow and you cannot have wheelspin because you overheat the tyres.’

If Michelin were to replace Pirelli, they would also have to at least match the $40millio- a-year in trackside advertising that Pirelli currently pay to Formula One Management.