Michelin has made a veiled criticism of current competitor Bridgestone for vowing to stick around as the sole tyre supplier in formula one.
In protest of the FIA’s 2008 regulations, the French marque is quitting the sport at the end of this year, and Michelin motor sport director Frederic Henry-Biabaud on Wednesday queried Bridgestone’s logic in not doing the same.
”You might well question the point of a tyre manufacturer taking part in a series on those terms,” he said.
Japanese supplier Bridgestone, locked in battle with Michelin for the outcome of the Ferrari versus Renault world championship in 2006, has won the tender to supply all formula one teams in 2008.
But Michelin’s Biabaud, pointing out that Bridgestone runners will win grands prix in the future but also simultaneously finish last, wondered: ”Apart from a bit of brand recognition, where’s the appeal?”
The Frenchman also made reference to speculation that Bridgestone might begin to favour some teams over others once its monopoly gets into gear in 2007.
”Teams also came to us because they were guaranteed equal treatment –- something for which we have cultivated a reputation,” Biabaud said.
”Motorsport has been part of Michelin Group culture for more than 110 years. For us it has never been about scoring marketing points.”