Michelin boss can't rule out F1 return


French tyre maker Michelin is not ruling out a return to F1 in 2014 despite reports Bernie Ecclestone and most teams already have a deal in place with Pirelli.

Pirelli are having a difficult 2013 with teams unhappy with the high degradation of the rubber they are supplying and now the 'testgate' scandal has added to the Italian manufacturers frustrations.

Michelin's head of competition, Pascal Couasnon, has said the marquee tyre maker wouldn’t simply return to bail out F1 if Pirelli did quit, though he couldn't rule out a comeback completely.

"No," he said to Speed Week when asked if he could rule out a return.

"We all live in the same world, and it is clear what Formula 1 is in terms of visibility -- in this area Formula 1 is a long way ahead.

"Also when it comes to technology, this (F1) could be extremely interesting," added Couasnon. 

Though he did say Michelin would not simply return with the current tyre situation.

"We would be willing to sit down and make some suggestions," said Couasnon, indicating that Michelin would like to change some of the rules.

Asked what he may suggest, he explained: "In terms of the type of tyres in terms of visibility, and what is the right mix for the spectacle and the challenge for tyre manufacturers.

"We might suggest, for example, to change the tyre dimension for formula one. Today in F1 there are 13-inch wheels, but that doesn't interest us. 18 inches is a whole other thing," he said. 

Couasnon also indicated his thoughts that the current tyre rules do not fit with F1 moves to become more 'green'.

"A tyre that lasts only seven laps is difficult to relate to the idea of 'green'," he said.

"We would only be interested (in F1) if we are able to have smart regulations in terms of the tyres.

"It is not enough to return as the 'saviour' of Formula 1. If there is another way, then we could say 'why not?'" added Couasnon.

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