Michelin has decided after weeks of deliberation to apply for the FIA tender opened last month. The company's motorsport boss Pascal Couasnon said the company has taken the decision because it is unhappy about the direction F1 has taken with its tyres.
“What we are doing with this official application is the next step after all the things we have suggested recently,” he said in an interview with Motorsport.com “We're a bit disappointed to see where the technology lies – at least, the way tyres are represented in F1. We've been talking about this for a while. We made some proposals in F1 already but couldn't get the chance to go really far into it two or three years ago. Now that there is a well-established process, we were able to formulate an offer with our ideas.
“Indeed, one of the extremely important things is that in addition to providing a show with technology and tyres that correspond to something, we would like to get closer to everyday life. We want this technology that would be put in the tyres to reach the high-end road car products. It would be something.”
The FIA deadline for the tender is on June 17 and after saying at Le Mans that it was unsure about whether or not to pursue an F1 return, Michelin’s board has now decided to go ahead with a push to win the contract. Doing so will mean that Pirelli, F1's current supplier, faces potential competition for the tender. A final decision will be taken after the FIA has spent a month deliberating technical and safety criteria of canditates.
As of now it's unsure whether or not there will be further competition from other tyre companies who may submit applications to join the process.
Hankook Tyre is about to kick off the new motorsport year with a top-flight event. The tenth anniversary of the 24-hour racing spectacle in Dubai (January 8-10, 2015) sees the premium tyre manufacturer making its debut appearance as the event’s exclusive tyre partner and headline sponsor.
The international season-opener in the United Arab Emirates doubles as the flagship event and curtain-raiser for the ‘24H SERIES powered by Hankook,’ recently granted official international series status by the FIA. That means championship points will be up for grabs in Dubai and the five subsequent events in the driver and team classifications as well as the Ladies’ Cup. Moreover, the ‘24H Series powered by Hankook’ is the only endurance series to feature more than one 24-hour race (24H Dubai, 24H Circuit Paul Ricard, 24H Barcelona).
Hankook Tyre will provide Ventus F200 slicks and wet weather tyres to approximately 100 entries via 15 shipping containers, ranging in sizes from 17-inches for compact touring cars, to 19-inches for the biggest GT3 racers. “The world’s most famous racers will be on hand in Dubai for these exciting races,” says Hyun Bum Cho, President & Chief Marketing Officer/Chief Corporate Management Officer at Hankook Tire. “We look forward to taking part in this high-profile event and supporting all the teams with our high-technology and performance tyres in our role as chief partner and supplier.”
The Dubai 24-hour race was launched in 2006, with current Mercedes-Benz Motorsport boss Toto Wolff and DMSB (Germany’s motorsport governing body) President and former German F1 and DTM legend Hans-Joachim Stuck among the team that drove a BMW M3 to victory at the inaugural event. Apart from BMW, only Porsche and Mercedes-Benz have won in Dubai thus far. Then as now, this motorsport event has the power to thrill with its diverse mix of spectacular GTs, fast touring cars and 24H specials. Amateur drivers and teams likewise remain a vital presence on the starting grid.
The 5.39km Dubai Autodrome ranks among the most advanced tracks in the world due to its extremely challenging driving layout and climate. The track’s high-speed straights and 16 tight turns demand the driver’s undivided concentration for the race’s entire 24 hour duration, while the weather forecast is looking ideal, in the low- to mid-20 degree range.
Hankook has also been the exclusive tyre partner of the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters), the most popular international touring car series since 2011, and has supplied teams racing in some of the world’s most grueling endurance races including Le Mans, and Nurburgring 24 Hour.