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Tires and "Schumi-tiredness" putting a dent in F1 season
The weekend saw two reports of sponsorship woe for Formula One, as tire company Michelin said it would only return to the sport if more than one supplier could compete, and Michael Schumacher's personal marketing manager admitted that his lackluster return to the track is failing to ignite merchandise sales.
"It is easier to find a 50-year-old virgin than a sponsor for Formula One," said Willi Weber, Michael Schumacher's personal sponsorship and merchandising man, speaking to German newspaper Bild-Zeitung last week, as reported by Motorsport.com.
Formula One needs a new tire supplier as Japanese company Bridgestone has announced it is pulling out of the sport after 14 years once this season is over.
Reuters reports that Michelin managing partner Didier Mariton said: "We're in talks with the (International Automobile) Federation and the other bodies that run Formula One and we told them that if several brands were allowed in the sport then Michelin... would be ready to think about it."
Bridgestone has been the only supplier since 2007. Michelin competed with it from 2001 to 2006.
Willi Weber, speaking about sales of Michael Schumacher merchandise, told German newspaper Bild-Zeitung: “Sales are not how I expected them to be. There is a certain Schumi-tiredness. The people are saying: my god, where is he driving? You only know him as a winner.
Weber said Sebastian Vettel was now carrying the baton as Germany's favorite Formula One driver.
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