Pirelli has moved closer to securing the contract to become F1 tyre supplier for the 2011 season after Michelin revealed that it is close to pulling out of the running to make a return.
While Pirelli has long been viewed as the favourite to secure the contract, delays in agreeing a deal had seen Michelin make an eleventh-hour bid to secure a deal for itself.
However, with time running out to develop the tyres that will be used for next season, Michelin's managing partner Didier Miraton has now revealed that the company is close to pulling the plug on its proposed deal in a move which would leave Pirelli all but confirmed in the role
"The development time for 2011 seems very compromised now," Miraton told French publication L'Equipe
during the Le Mans 24 Hours. "It is probably too late for the deadlines of next year. We have intervened to help, modestly, but at the rate things are going, I'm pessimistic."
Pirelli Competition director Paul Hembry was present in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix trying to tie up a deal with the Formula One Teams Association.
Three teams are rumoured to have been against the Pirelli deal offered to teams in Istanbul with Red Bull boss Christian Horner insisting it was vital that teams made a collective decision.
“Hopefully it can be a collective consensus of opinion," he was quoted by Tire Review
. "What is massively important for us as an independent team is that costs are under control. Ideally there will be a single tyre supplier in order to ensure consistency and compatibility with all teams.
"I think the Pirelli deal that seems to be on the table looks to be commercially and practically very attractive, and that seems to be the consensus of the majority of teams. But it is important that the FIA and FOM agree with the relevant tyre supplier.”