Michelin announced today that they are evaluating an eventually return in the Formula One as supplier per 2020. They are not the first to show their interest, Hankook did it, but to be honest Michelin is one more likely to be a serious candidate.
Michelin is familiar with the Formula One. The company was a tyre supplier before during the first Turbo era between 1977 and 1984. Later in 2001 until 2006. During their second era in the Formula One they became champions with Renault. Though we all remember, the American Grand Prix held at Indianapolis in 2005. Ralf Schumacher made a horrible crash when his tyres collapsed. The other Michelin teams decided to pull back their cars for the race after the Warm-up lap. The tyre war between them and Bridgestone seemed to be a bridge to far.
Since 2007, there is only one supplier active in the Formula One. From 2007 until 2010, it was Bridgestone. From 2011 until 2019, it is Pirelli. If Michelin will become the new supplier after 14 years, there is only one problem they need to develop for only one season 13 inch tyres. From 2021 they will need to develop 18 inch tyres.
The FIA and other involved tried to extend the contract with Pirelli until 2020. For some reason this idea was rejected. So it means they really need to develop 13 inch tyres.
Michelin is not the only company interested to supply the Formula One with tyres. Pirelli is more than happy to keep on deliver the Formula One with their black gold, Hankook was mentioned before. As you could read before they were already in contact with Bernie Ecclestone in 2013 to become a supplier. Even Goodyear, who was active in the 1990s, is already rumoured to be interested. Who will be the new supplier? I really don’t know.
I would love to see a return of several suppliers in the Formula One. Pirelli, Bridgestone and perhaps Michelin and Goodyear would be a great combination to see on the track.