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GP Week : Issue 76
F1 NEWS >> MICHELIN has presented the FIA, FOM and FOTA with a proposal that could see it return to Formula One next year after a four-year absence. "We have three stipulations, relating to competition, technology and environmental sensitivity," Michelin competition spokesman Alessandro Barlozzi told GPWEEK "It must be open to all tyre manufacturers; the technological development must benefit road users; and the tyres must have greater longevity." Michelin was not interested in becoming the sole tyre supplier when the tender process was opened for 2008 -- believing it vital that the company faced competition if it was to invest in F1. On Barlozzi's last point, regarding longevity, he referred to Michelin's Le Mans tyre now being "20 percent longer lasting." It is believed Michelin are looking for synergy between their sportscar and potential F1 program, by increasing the diameter of the F1 wheel rims from 13 to 18 inches. This would therefore allow Michelin to share technology between its racing series. The aesthetic change would be dramatic, with a move away from thick sidewalls to very low-profile. A decision has yet to be made, but could come within the next month. If Michelin's conditions are accepted, then the French company -- which provided the winning rubber for the world's first grand prix in 1906 -- could end up competing against other tyre manufacturers such as Hankook and Kumho, both of which have been linked with a move into F1. Bridgestone announced after Abu Dhabi last year that 2010 would be the Japanese tyre giant's last season. Michelin presents a list of demands French tyre giant wants F1 competition and synergy with Le Mans program For your daily dose of Formula 1 news ... 9