Michelin has confirmed that it is in 'formal discussions' with the FIA, F1's governing body about returning to the sport in 2011 as the official tyre supplier.
Speculation about Michelin intensified over the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend with German newspaper, Auto Motor und Sport
, reporting the French tyre manufacturer would be interested in coming back and taking over from Bridgestone for F1 2011 - but only if it is suitably compensated [see separate story - click here
Michelin managing partner, Jean-Dominique Senard, has now told Bloomberg
that talks are underway.
"We might consider returning but there are some very clear conditions," Senard stated.
He also added that there would have to be some changes to "show the performance they [tyres] can bring, notably in terms of fuel saving and CO2 reductions."
His comments mirror those made by a Michelin representative to French newspaper, Le Figaro
"We have not made a decision," the spokesperson added, "but [we] are closely following the evolution of the regulations, knowing that we are committed to promoting the technical quality of our products, including also the concept of respect for the environment."
The FIA meanwhile has refused to comment.
Michelin quit the sport at the end of the 2006 season due to the decision taken by the governing body to introduce a single-tyre supplier from 2008. Michelin was also driven out as a result of the United States Grand Prix fiasco at Indianapolis in 2005, when all of the teams it supplied with tyres had to withdraw due to safety worries.