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Pirelli calls 2014 situation 'farcical' as Michelin rumours grow

ESPN Staff
August 25, 2013 « Mercedes prioritising 2014 over 2013 | Vettel surprised by Red Bull's dominance »
Michelin are considering a return to F1, according to reports © Sutton Images

Pirelli has described the Formula One's tyre contract situation as "farcical" as rumours gather pace that Michelin will put in a bid for the 2014 supply deal.

Pirelli has contracts in place with most teams and the commercial rights holder but does not yet have a deal with the FIA, which is rumoured to be in talks with Michelin. BBC Sport reported this weekend that the French tyre manufacturer is interested in a return if the regulations can be tweaked, and following Pirelli's struggles this year speculation has ramped up in Belgium that the 2014 supply deal will be put out to tender - a process the FIA has yet to initiate.

"If Michelin wanted to return why didn't they come out and say so last September?" Pirelli's head of motorsport, Paul Hembery, was quoted by the Daily Telegraph. "Quite frankly a tender in September when you are running in January would be farcical. You should have done that in September last year."

Hembery said earlier in the weekend that Pirelli had already invested a lot of money in its 2014 plans on the basis of the contracts it has in place.

"We are obviously working for 2014 and spending a lot of money for 2014. We have contracts in place and we hope that people want to adhere to them."

Michelin has previously said it would prefer competition if it returned to the sport and tyres that are more road relevant, but it may be willing to overlook those demands on the proviso it can produce tyres that do not degrade as quickly. A change in tyre supplier could create a headache for the teams, but Pirelli has also yet to finalise its plans for 2014 in terms of tyre width and construction.

Pirelli plans to supply the first specification of its 2014 tyres to the teams on October 1.