Bridgestone and McLaren

F1 pacesetter McLaren has reportedly entered negotiations to switch from Michelin to Ferrari's struggling tire supplier Bridgestone.

The Woking based marque, like Red Bull, Williams and Toyota, is the fourth presently French-shod outfit seriously linked with Bridgestone for 2006 and beyond.

Ferrari, with Michael Schumacher, has won just a single grand prix this year on the Japanese-made rubber — the scandalous US grand prix at Indianapolis, in which only five other cars raced.

''They are negotiating,'' an 'insider' was quoted by Germany's daily 'Bild' tabloid.

The likely Michelin-exodus no doubt has much to do with the teams' near-unanimous agreement that a 'control tire' formula would be a good thing for the sport. Michelin has made it clear that it is not interested in sticking around if there is no rival tire supplier to beat.

Mercedes powered McLaren might consider, then, that getting an early Bridgestone jump – as opposed to compulsorily switching in 2007 or 2008 – is a clever idea.

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