Michelin could be set to join Pirelli in Formula 1 from 2014 after reports have emerged stating the French manufacturer is set to announce a comeback.
According to Auto Sport und Motor, Michelin is planning an announcement for the middle of next week and could see a return to the old tyre-war days when two tyre suppliers ran in Formula 1.
The news however could explain the delays in an official announcement by Pirelli as tyre suppliers for 2014 despite head of motorsport Paul Hembery claiming plans for 2014 are well advanced.
Indeed discussions with teams were held in Hungary with suggestions Pirelli could introduce wider rear tyres next year.
That debate is causing some division among the F1 teams as Mercedes is keen for the change to wider rear tyres while Ferrari want the current dimensions to remain, ultimately though the decision is Pirelli's as they look for ways to cope with the higher torque coming from the new V6 turbos set to be introduced next year.
"We will decide alone," Hembery insisted, "no matter what the teams want. They just need to give us their data."
However the suggestion of Michelin joining F1 next year could greatly affect the decisions taken by Pirelli.
Correspondent Michael Schmidt said: "Can they (Michelin) be ready for 2014? Surely not -- it would be a very late call."
This is because of the deadline of September 1st when the teams will have the exact specifications of the 2014 tyres.
What could be more likely is a return in 2015.
Hembery is quoted as saying: "We want clarity this year.
"Our contracts with the rights holder and some of the teams are for the next five years.
"If we are confronted next year with a tender for 2015, we'll be gone."
Asked though if he would consider a tyre war with Michelin, Hembery said: "We have a contract with the teams, but the rules do not allow competition between tyre manufacturers.
"We are doing our job," he told f1news.ru, as Pirelli pushes for a new multi-year contract to be the sport's sole supplier of tyres beyond 2013.
Hembery concluded: "If the rules change, we will be told about it."
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