Michelin to Supply Fewer Teams in 2006

Michelin, Formula One's dominant tyre supplier this season, will supply fewer teams next year

Michelin to Supply Fewer Teams in 2006

Nick Shorrock, director of Michelin's Formula One activities, said a clarification of the situation was likely at this week's Belgian Grand Prix.

"It will be all part of what we have already announced which is our desire to reconfigure the way we deal with partners and the number of partners that we have," he told Reuters.

"So certainly, yes, we will be ending up with a reduction of partners for the 2006 season. In the next week we will certainly be clarifying the situation."

Shorrock said he was aware of speculation linking Williams, Toyota and Red Bull to Bridgestone for 2006 in addition to Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi.

The tyre maker's long-term future in the sport is also uncertain, with the French manufacturer hinting last week that they would withdraw if the governing FIA insisted on moving to a single supplier in 2008.

Michelin, whose teams have won all but one race this season, have made clear they are interested in competition between suppliers.

The French manufacturer has come in for considerable criticism this season for the six-car U.S. Grand Prix fiasco.

Michelin told their seven teams not to take part in the June race for safety reasons after discovering that the tyres could not withstand the pressure of the final banked turn.

Bridgestone are keen to attract more top teams to help development and give more feedback.

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