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Michelin boss to meet Ecclestone next week
Saturday 24th August 2013, 16:20 by Ryan Wood
Michelin could soon be confirmed as Formula 1's sole tyre supplier for the 2014 season after it emerged in Belgium that the company's motorsport director, Pascal Couasnon, will meet with Bernie Ecclestone next week.
The French manufacturer is keen to return to F1 after a seven year absence after Bridgestone and then Pirelli took over the contract.
Michelin bosses have already met with FIA president Jean Todt to confirm their interest, but at present the governing body is yet to announce a tender or award a contract to either Pirelli or an alternative supplier.
Pirelli's Paul Hembery has already described the situation as "surreal" and says it would be "farcical" to tender at such a late stage, adding: "If you wanted to do that then it should have been done in September of last year. Everybody will look ridiculous in that scenario."
Pirelli has already begun developing its 2014 tyres despite the lack of a signed contract, Michelin however hasn't and is therefore well behind in the process, but claims this isn't a problem even with a January test just five months away.
Should the company emerge as the favourite and win the contract, it is thought to have demanded changes to the regulations, but it wouldn't immediately impose them from next season.
One change it is keen to see in the first season, is the move away from multiple stop races. The company is keen to use F1 as a platform to market its ability to produce durable tyres and wouldn't want to see more than one stop per race.
Another major change, albeit not an immediate one, would be the move to 18-inch wheels instead of the current 13-inches, which the company recently described as "irrelevant to road cars".
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