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What does Michelin's statement mean?

NEWS STORY
20/07/2005

At first glance, Michelin's statement regarding 'balance' in F1 appears to be the latest instalment in the lovey-dovey nonsense that is sweeping the paddock at present.

However, on close reading the statement poses many more questions than it answers.

Following the debacle that was Indianapolis, Michelin has been working hard to restore its image within the sport, especially since, FIA President, Max Mosley, openly blamed the French manufacturer for the whole sorry saga.

At a time when the sport is talking openly about 'control' tyres, Michelin reveals that an eighth team has approached it with regards the possibility of using its rubber in 2006.

With Ferrari already fully committed to Bridgestone, and Minardi's previous relationship with the French manufacturer having turned sour - not to mention talk of a sizeable unpaid bill - one can only presume that it is Jordan - soon to be Midland F1 - that wishes to change sides.

However, Michelin's call for greater balance between the two tyre suppliers suggests that it is ready to 'dump' a couple of teams, which would then have to change to Bridgestone, which is going through a rough patch at present.

What yardstick the French manufacturer would use, when dumping teams, remains to be seen, as does the reaction of the teams involved, and indeed Bridgestone.

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