Michelin 'pessimistic' about 2011 F1 tire deal
(GMM) Pirelli has edged yet closer to becoming F1's new official tire supplier. The Milan based company's only competition for the deal, Michelin, is close to falling out of the running.
"The development time for 2011 seems very compromised now," managing partner Didier Miraton said at Le Mans, according to L'Equipe.
Spotted in Montreal on Sunday was Paul Hembery, Pirelli's competition director, for talks with the teams association FOTA.
It is believed that, some days ago, contracts were drawn up and signed with the representative of F1's commercial rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone.
The final hurdle is the signing off by the FIA's legal department.
Michelin's Miraton indicated that the French company is essentially now out of the running.
"It is probably too late for the deadlines of next year," he continued. "We have intervened to help, modestly, but at the rate things are going, I'm pessimistic."
Another stumbling block for Michelin has been the lack of widespread desire for a change of rules allowing more than one tire supplier at a time.
"When there is only one manufacturer, there is no competition, no progress, no pleasure and the interest in the manufacturer is low," said Miraton.