Ecclestone rejects Michelin rumours
29 August 2013 – Bernie Ecclestone has moved to quash rumours that Michelin will replace Pirelli as Formula 1’s sole tyre supplier next season, after the French company contacted governing body the FIA over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend to register its interest.
FIA President Jean Todt has been at loggerheads with Ecclestone over the choice of the sport’s 2014 tyre manufacturer for some time, with both men known to be in opposing camps. Knowing that his rival faces the prospect of a re-election battle in December, Ecclestone downplayed the Frenchman’s role in making the final decision, adding that there is no real interest from the teams in a Michelin return.
"FOM and Pirelli have a contract," Ecclestone told Speed. "They [the FIA] are nothing to do with commercial. The FIA’s position is that they are regulators. They regulate all the regulations that have been agreed. Jean is the president of the FIA. If it’s a matter of a vote in the World Council, he has one vote. As it’s not a matter for the World Council, it doesn’t make a lot of difference.
"All the teams who have spoken to me say they are very happy with Pirelli, and the problems they’ve had, they’re happy that they’ve dealt with them."
Ecclestone’s position on any potential for a tyre war also remains unchanged, with the 82-year-old opposed to the kind of scenario that saw Bridgestone focus much of its resources on Ferrari throughout the early 2000s.
"They will want to pick the teams that they think will win, and they’ll pay them a lot more money to take them as opposed to somebody else," he said. "We have a deal with Pirelli, anyway."