Team bosses still undecided on Michelin v Pirelli

A FOTA gathering of team principals on Sunday morning failed to resolve the question of whether Pirelli or Michelin wins the F1 tyre contract for 2011 and beyond.

The consensus from those emerging from the meeting – which took place in McLaren’s motorhome – was that the contest is still finely balanced, and either party could yet get the deal.

The complication is that the offers from the two manufacturers are not easily comparable, with both sides offering different packages. However the general view is that a tyre war should be avoided at all costs.

The manufacturers, who are OEM customers of both brands, also have a different take on things than the smaller teams.

“It’s not clear cut which way it will go,” Mercedes GP CEO Nick Fry told this writer. “The technical and commercial packages are different. We think Pirelli and Michelin can both do the job, and to be honest we are ambivalent about it.”

As reported on this blog a couple of weeks ago, Michelin has dropped its price from €5m per team to €1.5m. The Pirelli deal meanwhile is complicated by the fact that it includes elements such as track advertising from which the teams ultimately gain a cut.

Pirelli has strengthened its hand by being part of the F1 circus this year as supplier to GP3, which means that the company is gathering data on many of the European venues.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Team bosses still undecided on Michelin v Pirelli

  1. melonfarmer

    Any news on KERS too?

  2. DiegoP

    Adam,

    Thank you for all the news during and after the race (the post about Ruben’s crash is great!).

    I apologize for this not related question but, did Kimi show up in Monaco? As far as I know he was about to make some kind of event at his boat (promotioned on his web severals months ago). Now, it seems that his Red Bull option for 2011 look pretty unlikely. Any news from the paddock about his chances?

    And finally, it’s a pity that the F1 continues with just one tyre supplier. This sport needs a tyre war also!

    Best Regards,

    • Yeah Kimi was there and I did have a good chat with him one evening. All I can say is he hasn’t decided what he’s going to do next year. I hope he hasn’t been forgotten, his reputation may have suffered last year but he could still get the job done in the right environment, and a year out won’t have hurt.

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