MONZA, Italy (Reuters) - Pirelli has competition for Formula One’s next tyre contract despite French rivals Michelin ruling out a bid, International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Jean Todt said on Saturday.
The deadline set by the FIA to tender for the 2020-23 contract expired on Friday.
Pirelli is the current sole supplier and any company seeking to replace it faces the added cost of having to design one type of tyre for 2020 and then a new one for the following three years.
The tender document envisages a switch from 13-inch (33.02 cm) wheel rims to 18-inch ones in 2021.
“I don’t know the result yet on who has been applying,” Todt told reporters at the Italian Grand Prix. “I know it’s more than one.
“I knew since a while that Michelin was not going to compete for the tender,” he added when asked about the French company’s position.
Michelin made clear it was not interested in the terms on offer.
“The demand for the supply of 13-inch tyres for the 2020 season alone, as well as the deterioration of performance as a part of the show, goes against our principles of efficient resource management and respect for the technology of a sustainable tyre,” Michelin said in a statement.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Clare Fallon