Michelin fined €250,000 for ignoring 2018/19 WEC LMP1 tyre rules

Michelin has been fined €250,000 for failing to comply with new tyre regulations introduced for the 2018/19 World Endurance Championship

Michelin fined €250,000 for ignoring 2018/19 WEC LMP1 tyre rules

The fine, €200,000 of which has been suspended, resulted from its failure to hand over to race officials multiple sets of the tyres to be used by privateer non-hybrid LMP1 machinery and GTE cars over the course of the WEC superseason ahead of the Spa series opener last week.

Michelin, which was against the new rule introduced over the winter, blamed a lack of capacity at its Clermont-Ferrand motorsport facility during its busiest time of the year for the inability to meet the regulatory requirement.

Michelin endurance programme manager Jerome Mondain told Autosport: "At this time of year we do not have the production capacity to meet this regulation and we informed the FIA of this some weeks ago."

He put the number of tyres being requested as the equivalent of that required for one event by the 32 cars it supplies in the series.

A stewards' bulletin explained that this claim by Michelin could not be regarded as force majeure.

It stated that Michelin's increase in the number of cars it is supplying in the WEC was inconsistent with this argument.

The statement pointed out that the rule was introduced in October and that the number of tyres required represented one or two weeks' production.

The suspended €200,000 element of the fine will not be payable if Michelin complies with the regulation ahead of the next round of the WEC, the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.

The new procedure, dubbed 'segregation' by the FIA, was introduced into the sporting regulations for 2018/19 as a means of enforcing rules that limit tyre development.

Only three specifications of tyre per manufacturer are allowed in GTE Pro each season, while Michelin has committed to develop only three different specs to be used by all the LMP1 privateers running non-hybrid machinery.

The idea is that the segregated tyres are then fed back into Michelin's supply chain over the course of the superseason to ensure the rubber used is the same throughout the season.

The FIA said Michelin was being asked to supply 720 tyres (180 sets), while the French manufacturer put the figure at 960 (240 sets).

The discrepancy is probably explained by the fact that the third spec of tyre for each GTE Pro manufacturer does not have to be released until Le Mans.

shares
comments
WEC Spa: Toyota agreement 'froze positions' in Alonso car's favour

Previous article

WEC Spa: Toyota agreement 'froze positions' in Alonso car's favour

Next article

Porsche's 919 Evo modified LMP1 car to Nurburgring Nordschleife

Porsche's 919 Evo modified LMP1 car to Nurburgring Nordschleife
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Author Gary Watkins
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Plus

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
Top 10 moments of an underrated British great Plus

Top 10 moments of an underrated British great

Brian Redman was one of the best sportscar drivers of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a three-time champion on the fearsome American Formula 5000 scene. To celebrate his 84th birthday Autosport contacted him about his best races – and he decided to write the piece himself…

WEC
Mar 9, 2021
How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams Plus

How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams

The G-Drive squad has been a mainstay of endurance racing in recent years, and has linked up with Russian manufacturer Aurus in recent years to promote its brand. With a change of rules in endurance racing's top tables, the team could be well-placed to take advantage of a potential boom...

WEC
Mar 7, 2021
How Ferrari’s Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc’s legacy Plus

How Ferrari’s Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc’s legacy

OPINION: Ferrari's planned return to the top category at the Le Mans 24 Hours has further heightened anticipation for the 2023 race. Few concrete details are currently known, but already it has a high-profile superstar angling for involvement, which would make a refreshing change

WEC
Mar 5, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar exile Plus

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger Plus

The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger

Toyota's new GR010 contender for the World Endurance Championship's Hypercar era has little in common with the LMP1 TS050 that preceded it. But within the confines of the scaled back new rules, its latest challenger will be no less formidable a prospect

WEC
Jan 22, 2021
The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era Plus

The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era

Porsche is returning to the top class of Le Mans with an LMDh prototype that it hopes will write its next successful chapter in sportscar racing. But it will have to go some to emulate its 956/962, a car which defines the Group C age more than any other

WEC
Dec 16, 2020
How Kristensen forged the Mr Le Mans legend Plus

How Kristensen forged the Mr Le Mans legend

He is synonymous with success at the Circuit de la Sarthe, but Tom Kristensen's sportscar legacy amounts to much more than his record-breaking nine Le Mans wins, as the most successful driver ever at Sebring and a world champion to boot

WEC
Dec 5, 2020