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Michelin says no to 1999

THE Michelin tire company has officially announced that it will not be entering Grand Prix racing in 1999. There have been rumors for a couple of years that the French tiremaker was planning to enter F1 to take on its major rivals Bridgestone and Goodyear, but with Goodyear having announced that it is pulling out of F1 at the end of 1998 Michelin appears to have decided that taking on Bridgestone alone serves little purpose.

On the face of it the announcement means that Bridgestone will have a tire monopoly in F1 in 1999 although there are some in F1 who feel that Goodyear's announcement may be a political move to lull the opposition into a false sense of security and to pull back the number of teams being supplied. Michelin could be playing the same game.

Over the Christmas period there was much speculation in Italy that Ferrari may be switching from Goodyear to Bridgestone for 1998, but the team's spokesman Claudio Berro said that Ferrari remains under contract to Goodyear.

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