Honda website
Honda website

JUNE 28, 2005

Michelin angered by FIA activities

Edouard Michelin, the man in charge of the giant Michelin tyre company, has responded to a communication last week from Max Mosley, which apparently questioned Michelin's safety record in Formula 1. A copy of Michelin's letter has fallen into our hands and it makes interesting reading.

"I feel necessary to let you know how discontented I was of both the nature of your contentions - which are based on mere allegations - and the suspicious and inappropriate tone employed," Michelin wrote. "Michelin is very disappointed about the way the United States Grand Prix turned out. However, safety is and has always been the first priority for Michelin; it will never change its stance on this principle, whether for tyres for competition or for any other purpose. It is Michelin's reputation for excellence, its refusal to compromise on quality or thoroughness that have made Michelin the leading manufacturer of tyres in the world."

Michelin went on to question Mosley publishing correspondence.

"Your telefax addresses sensitive issues and raises the importance of confidentiality in addressing these matters," Michelin wrote. "It was brought to my attention that the 21 June 2005 correspondence was circulated widely in the press worldwide and on the Internet. Such disclosure, which contains erroneous allegations, may have damaging consequences on Michelin's reputation.

"Over the last days, you have repeatedly blamed us in the press, directly or indirectly. Will you at least recognize publicly that we have taken a courageous, honest and transparent stance for the safety of the pilots? I hope you will be fair enough to acknowledge that Michelin, with its seven partner teams, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Formula One Management and two other teams, did the maximum to preserve a true and safe race by proposing a very serious and pragmatic alternative. This is all the opposite of a boycott!"

Michelin concluded by saying that "contrary to what is alluded in your publicized telefax, there is no reason to worry about the fundamental reliability of Michelin. I can confirm that Michelin will be present with safe and competitive tyres at the forthcoming Grand Prix races".