Michelin can bring excitement to F1

Michelin believes they can help raise excitement levels in Formula 1 by concentrating on tyre performance over tyre management.

Michelin, along with Pirelli, who currently supply the sport, have bid for the new tyre supply contract which runs from 2017 to 2019. 

Talking to Autosport,motorsport director Pascal Couasnon thinks that his company can help to make Formula 1 races more exciting. 

"It's not my role to criticise or to talk about what's going on at the moment," said Couasnon. 

"We simply believe in giving an opportunity to the driver and the engineers of the cars to extract the maximum possibility from each component, and with the driver being a very noble component.

"To get there you need a very high performance tyre, phenomenal grip, and that's what excites us."

Couasnon pointed to sportcar events, and Le Mans in particular, as an example of close racing where tyres play a massive role in adding to the spectacle.  

He believes that Michelin can replicate that success in F1.

"Michelin has injected excitement into sportscar racing, so why should we not be able do it in Formula 1?" he continued.

"When you see what is going on today in sportscar racing, the great battle we had at Le Mans, where it was pretty much a sprint for 24 hours.

"It was interesting to listen to Nico Hulkenberg say 'I was tired', that the race was a fight for 24 hours, and he could go to the maximum all the time."

Couasnon confirmed however, that the French tyre manufacturer is only interested in producing tyres for 18 to 19-inch rims. 

If the FIA do not agree to this, Michelin will not enter the sport. 

"We need more modern sizes with a smaller sidewall which would bring us closer to reality with high-performance or super high-performance cars," he said.

"That means, yes, a minimum of 18. If it's 19, why not? On that we are flexible.

"Where we have a major issue, and it is a [deal] breaker, is if the sport decides to stay with 13 inch, with a big sidewall. We don't really see an interest."

Michelin, however, is not adverse to producing wider rear tyres as proposed for 2017 and beyond. 

Couasnon believes this can be discussed in due course.

"Our proposal is we want the driver to be tired at the end of a race, so we want to give them good mechanical grip, to be closer to reality so our investment in terms of technology can be useful and transfer from track to street.

"If it means a wider tyre at the rear, why not," said Couasnon.