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Michelin Not Expecting Ferrari Switch

Michelin boss Pierre Dupasquier believes Ferrari are not interested in switching to the French tyre manufacturer despite this year's struggles

"I don't think they'll ask to have our tyres," Dupasquier said.

"Some rudeness can't be forgotten easily," added the Frenchman, referring to the 2003 'Tyregate'. "But that wouldn't certainly be an obstacle because, from a commercial point of view, we have an excellent relationship with Maranello.

"And we've already won championships with them."

Ferrari have openly blamed Bridgestone as one of the main reasons why they have struggled this year, but no suggestions have been made about a possible switch to Michelin next season.

Dupasquier, who admitted he was surprised the Italian squad had not managed to solve their problems yet, believes that Bridgestone has paid the price for having only Ferrari to do their development work.

"It's incredible that in all this time they haven't come out of the tunnel," Dupasquier told Gazzetta dello Sport. "At the beginning of the season we thought we were essentially on par. Maybe at Ferrari they hurried things too much and threw the 2005 car in the fight too early, ending up losing their orientation.

"In any case, what's happening this year confirms that it's no good to work with just one strong team. You need to compare. It often happens in racing that when well-paid technicians don't manage to improve their own car, then the blame ends up on the tyres. Drivers too often justify their slowness with lack of grip.

"Last year we were lucky too because BAR, even without winning, got lots of points. This was proof that our products weren't so bad. Renault, McLaren and Toyota understood that and in the last part of the season became very strong."

Although Michelin has already announced it will supply fewer teams in 2006, Dupasquier reckons having several top teams as partners has played in their favour.

"The fact that the title is now between two drivers from teams racing with our tyres demonstrates we were right in favouring an approach to F1 whereby we'd work with more teams," Dupasquier added.

"Everybody asks me how we did it but we haven't invented any miracle tyre. On the contrary, at the beginning we were even too prudent, so much so that our tyres could even be raced for not only one but two Grands Prix! Besides, it's right to acknowledge the merits of our teams, who've made a big step forward compared to 2004."

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