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Michelin unworried by Mosley comments

Alan Baldwin | July 01, 2005 11:21 IST

Michelin do not believe Formula One's governing body wants to drive them out of the sport after their US Grand Prix tyre problems, motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier said on Thursday.

"I don't suspect the FIA [International Automobile Federation] of any idea like that, I can't understand why," he said at the French Grand Prix.

"Don't we do a good job? Aren't we friendly to the people, don't we make good racing in all disciplines? So we couldn't understand something like that."

French sports daily L'Equipe asked readers in an online poll "Are the FIA trying to drive Michelin out of F1?" after FIA president Max Mosley heaped blame on the company for their performance at Indianapolis.

The world body is backing a move to a single tyre supplier from 2008, when the current commercial agreement governing Formula One expires. Michelin are currently competing against Japan's Bridgestone.

Just six cars started the June 19 US Grand Prix after Michelin advised their seven teams that the tyres were unsafe through the banked final corner.

Mosley said on Wednesday it had been a "disastrous performance" and the company, despite offering to refund fans for their tickets, had done enormous damage to Formula One and should be deeply ashamed.

He also raised the possibility of a single tyre supplier before 2008.


"This is conceivable, but that would not be [for] the world council [to decide]," he said. "It would be a decision taken on grounds of safety."

He said Michelin had been asked for details of all their tyre failures in the last two years.

"There is a suggestion from several Formula One engineers that there have been several other sidewall failures in the past," he declared. "We do not know if this is true, we have to investigate.

"If it turns out that this is not just a one-off problem and that it has happened on several occasions ... then it may well be that the technical department might conclude these tyres are dangerous and they should not be allowed to run in Formula One."

Michelin have said they underestimated the forces exerted on the rear left tyres at Indianapolis and have guaranteed the future safety of the tyres.

Michelin chairman Edouard Michelin, in a letter to Mosley this week, said: "There is no reason to worry about the fundamental reliability of Michelin.

"Safety is and has always been the first priority for Michelin. It will never change its stance on this principle, whether for tyres for competition or any other purpose."


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