Honda website

JULY 28, 2005

The tyre market

The Formula 1 tyre companies are currently vying for position with Michelin saying it has been approached by an eighth team and Bridgestone saying that five teams have asked for its tyres. Strip away the smokescreens and the reality is that one Bridgestone teams wants to join Michelin and two or three Michelin teams are asking Bridgestone about their terms and conditions. It is logical for some of the middle-ranking teams to consider taking a risk with Bridgestone, if only because it is better to be the second best Bridgestone team than the seventh best Michelin team. Bridgestone has not had a good weekend this year but, as we saw in Indianapolis, Jordan was in the right place at the right time when the Michelin runners withdrew from the United States Grand Prix. The result of that is that Jordan has 11 points and Sauber has 14, despite the fact that the Jordans have never looked close to the pace of the Saubers. There is expected to be a move around on the tyre front, if only because it has been pointed out that according to the rules Bridgestone has to be prepared to supply 60% of the field. At the moment it supplies just 30%. Michelin looks like dropping at least one team - probably Red Bull Racing, which would give Michelin 60% of the field and Bridgestone 40%. It remains to be seen whether a second team would be dumped to take the balance to 50-50.