OCTOBER 27, 2000
Prost at the center of tire war
The French team agreed to switch to Michelin next season when they re-enter the sport but Alain Prost has agreed a deal to be supplied with Ferrari engines and a conflict is beckoning.
Ferrari, who claimed the double this year, are contracted to Japanese manufacturer Bridgestone for the 2001 season and their association with Prost through the engine deal is likely to cause conflict.
"It's a big worry," said Michelin Motorsport's communications manager Andy Pope. "Obviously, Ferrari might have access to information that we would rather they didn't have but there's very little we can do about it.
"As the newcomers, we are obliged to supply up to 60 per cent of the grid and, now that Bridgestone have signed up six teams, they appear unwilling to take on any more. There is seems likely we will be supplying Prost next year."
Bridgestone have deals to supply six teams but they have said that they will not be taking on any more should Prost's Michelin deal not work out.
"We are not looking to supply any more team," Bridgestone spokeswoman Melanie Holmes said. "We already have contracts with Ferrari, McLaren, Sauber, Arrows, Bar and Jordan, and that was what we were aiming for."