SEPTEMBER 13, 1999
Another tire company for F1 in 2001?
The announcement was greeted with horror by French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin who warned that employment is the chief priority of his government and that a company which has just announced a large profit should not be laying-off staff and said that he would look very closely at Michelin's plans.
Our spies at Michelin say that the company has decided not to return to F1 unless there is a third tire company involved as it does not want to put Bridgestone's efforts in F1 under the spotlight and would prefer that the Japanese company remain frustrated at the lack of publicity as Formula 1's only tire supplier. There is also a question of cost as a Formula 1 program is not cheap and Michelin would need to spend around $50m to do the job properly. And that would be hard to justify at a time of rationalization.
It is worth noting that Goodyear has already announced plans to strengthen the Dunlop presence in Europe and that F1 would be a very good way of achieving this aim. Goodyear is also rapidly integrating its racing technology with that of Dunlop and we hear that there will soon be Goodyear racing tires appearing in motorcycle racing, using technology developed in bikes by Dunlop.
It would thus be logical that Goodyear's F1 knowledge and experience be used to create Dunlop F1 tires...