Michelin director of motorsport Pascal Couasnon says that entering Formula 1 as a tyre supplier would not make sense given the low amount of technology transfer between the track and the road.

Michelin last worked with F1 teams between 2001 and 2006, and submitted a bid to return in 2017, only to lose out to incumbent tyre supplier Pirelli.

The French manufacturer has placed a heavy significance on road relevance with its tyre development in motorsport, using endurance racing as a means of producing long-lasting, high-performance tyres.

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As a result, at a time when F1 is introducing tyres with an increasingly-short life span in a bid to have multiple pit stops and improve the on-track spectacle, a return offers no appeal to Michelin director of motorsport Pascal Couasnon.

“Michelin wants to race with a challenge. Obviously when you have competition, your challenge is right there,” Couasnon told select media including Crash.net in Hong Kong on Friday.

“But if you work with the FIA, you work with Formula E, and say OK why don’t you introduce a new rule that makes it more difficult for the tyre maker, then you have your own challenge. That’s what we want.

“We don’t want to race in series where either there is no challenge or challenges that do not make sense for your car and mine. If there is a challenge, even if we are by yourself, it is OK. Formula E’s a perfect example.

“Formula 1 today, to be honest with you, we talked about 18-inch tyres, smaller sidewalls - that’s what you see in the street. If you learn something you can transfer it quickly.

“With the big side tyre wall, you don’t learn something useful. You spend a lot of money for changing tyres every seven-to-10 laps and having technology that you can really deploy on an everyday car.

“I love Formula 1, but in terms of pure technology for the tyre, that’s not the most useful series for today.”

Michelin confirmed earlier this week it would be extending its contract with Formula E until the end of its seventh season in 2021, supplying the series with an all-weather compound.


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No suprise all those thinking that Ferrari and Merc are just issuing a threat to increase their leverage should read and think again. If the major manufacturers go and F1 goes back to V12 or V8 the sport will become just another minority sport. Sponsors will go over to E sport with them, attendances will drop and it will become a sport for rich amateurs

Michelin have a nice easy life with Formula E. There is one tyre - no ultrahypermega softs or megahyperultra hard, no inters or wets and no need for variations in compound. One tyre for all and err... that's it. Why on earth would they have any interest in F1? Way too expensive and difficult. May as well leave it to Pirelli to spend zillions to show how even they struggle trying to keep everyone happy. Michelin have to do enough of that in motogp which at least is rather cheaper.


Since when did F1 tires have any road relevance anyway. Maybe back in the 1950's?