The tire war has returned to the World Rally Championship. But only for a month.
Midnight Friday (European time) is the deadline for tire manufacturers to bid for the opportunity to be driven by every World Rally champion from 2025 until 2027. It’s control tire renewal time.
MRF and Hankook are understood to have placed proposals with the FIA and WRC Promoter once again. The surprise is the potential for a return to rallying’s top-flight for Michelin.
A representative from the French firm was present for meetings with the promoter during last week’s Acropolis Rally Greece, but declined the opportunity to explain his thinking to DirtFish.
When we contacted Michelin’s motorsport headquarters in Clermont-Ferrand, we were greeted by a tight-lipped response.
Michelin was, of course, the company which supplied all leading teams prior to the FIA’s decision to run a control tire from 2021 onwards.
Italian firm Pirelli won that tender and has supplied tires since.
Pirelli’s ambition to return to the WRC remains unclear. It is understood to be closing on another term as Formula 1’s supplier and has been in discussions with the governing body and promoter about remaining in the WRC.
The three-year agreement would commence in 2025 and includes all four-wheel drive RC1, RC2 and RC3 cars on every WRC round for three years.
The winning bid will be revealed at the October 19 meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.