Ferrari boss evasive on Michelin link

Jean Todt has dodged questions over whether Ferrari could switch to Michelin rubber next year

Ferrari boss evasive on Michelin link

Rival teams have claimed that the reigning world champions are already in talks with the French tyre manufacturer.

Ferrari has notched up five victories so far this this season with Bridgestone, and McLaren-Mercedes has scored another two. But with little or no current F1 data, Michelin has won two races in its debut year - and there is a real chance that it could be the pacesetter in 2002.

Speculation has been fuelled by the fact that as a Frenchman, Todt knows the hierarchy of the French company well and used Michelins while boss of the Peugeot rally team.

At Magny Cours, scene of this weekend's French Grand Prix, Todt evaded questions over whether Ferrari was delaying renewal of its Bridgestone contract in readiness for the announcement of a switch to Michelin.

Asked if they were avoiding giving a 'yes' or 'no' to Bridgestone, Todt replied: "I did not read that in our contract, which is what is important."

But he praised the Japanese tyre manufacturer's commitment to Formula 1.

"Bridgestone are very strong and react very quickly," he said. "I am very happy about the support they give us. Without them, we would not be where we are in the championship, so I respect them for what they do.

"Michelin are dangerous," he added. "Michelin tyres on a BMW car with Ralf driving is a difficult challenge. Nevertheless, Ferrari are in a good position in the championship and it is very important to score points, even if we don't win the race."

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