French tyre maker Michelin has announced it will leave Formula One at the end of the 2006 season, blaming the single tyre supplier rule for its decision.
Michelin had expressed several times its disappointment at the FIA's decision to use just one tyre supplier from 2008, and the French company has responded by announcing its withdrawal from the sport at the end of the following season.
"This decision is the result of profound differences between Michelin's long-standing sporting philosophy and the way Formula One is managed by the regulating authorities, which no longer provide a clear and sustainable environment to justify long-term investments," said Edouard Michelin.
"For Michelin, leaving Formula One in no way represents abandoning motorsports, to which the Michelin brand has been committed for 117 years. If F1's ways of functioning were to be significantly modified, Michelin would not hesitate in proposing its services to the different teams once again."
Michelin's withdrawal at the end of 2006 will almost certainly bring into play a single tyre supplier in 2007.
"No matter what, Michelin will do everything possible to ensure that its partners receive the best service and the best tyres to help them win during the 2006 season, as has always been the case since our return to Formula One in 2001," added Michelin.
"Michelin would have liked to have extended its long-term Formula One involvement, because the demands of Formula One as well as the collaboration with partner teams have been such a source of progress and fruitful exchanges. Thank you to all of our partners for this."