Bernie Ecclestone: “FOM and Pirelli have a contract…”

Bernie Ecclestone has downplayed Michelin’s prospects of replacing Pirelli as F1’s sole tyre supplier, despite the French company formally confirming to the FIA that it is interested in the role.

Ecclestone has always been close to Pirelli, while FIA President Jean Todt is known to be sympathetic to Michelin.

One senior team figure told this blog at Spa that it would require a bold decision by Todt to open the door for Michelin at this late stage, and given that an FIA election is the way, such a controversial move seemed unlikely to happen.

When questioned by about Michelin’s chances Ecclestone said simply that “FOM and Pirelli have a contract.”

Asked why there was not yet a contract between the FIA and Pirelli – the one that Paul Hembery is awaiting – Bernie dismissed its relevance.

“We don’t need one, I don’t think,” he told this blog. “They are nothing to do with commercial. The FIA’s position is that they are regulators, they regulate all the regulations that have been agreed.”

He was keen to downplay any role for Todt in the process of selecting the tyre supplier.

“Jean is the president of the FIA. If it’s a matter of a vote in the World Council, he has one vote. As it’s not a matter for the World Council, it doesn’t make a lot of difference.”

Bernie also denied that there was any interest from the teams in joining forces with Michelin.

“None of the teams who have spoken to me have said that. All the teams who have spoken to me say they are very happy with Pirelli, and the problems they’ve had, they’re happy that they’ve dealt with them.”

Although the regulations currently ensure that F1 has a sole supplier, there does seem to be some logic in a potential move towards competition in the future, especially if both companies are willing to pump money into the sport.

Intriguingly Bernie indicated that he does not support the idea of Michelin competing with Pirelli: “Because they will want to pick the teams that they think will win, and they’ll pay them a lot more money to take them as opposed to somebody else. We have a deal with Pirelli, anyway.”

Exactly how the tyre saga will play out in the coming weeks remains to be seen, but the bottom line is that time is running out for all concerned.

2 Comments

Filed under F1 News, Grand Prix News, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Bernie Ecclestone: “FOM and Pirelli have a contract…”

  1. Andreas

    There’s no need for a contract (between FIA and Pirelli)…? Interesting position, considering the fact that the sporting regulations state: “A single tyre manufacturer will be chosen by the FIA for subsequent seasons following an invitation for tenders to supply tyres to all the cars entered in Championship Events for the duration of such subsequent seasons.”

    Now, it’s probably too late to bring in a different tender, but does that mean it will be Pirelli by default? The regulations clearly say there should be an open invitation with bids, before the choice is made. And at the same time, it was originally said that the specifications of next year’s tyres were to be communicated to the teams by September… The FIA is playing a high stakes game here – either that, or the decision has already (informally) been made.

  2. petes

    Who runs the events, takes the kick when things go wrong, rules on eligibility, looks after stewarding, etc? Don’t think that sounds like FOM; seems their brief is to count the spoils. Be interesting to see Michelin in, Pirelli squarking their signage issue and the people running the shop ripping them down. Take your beef to Mr Ecclestone…….

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