Michelin fined €250,000 for WEC tyre rule breach

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

Michelin fined €250,000 for WEC tyre rule breach

The fine, of which €200,000 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 Motorsport.com: "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.

Michelin will not have to pay the suspended €200,000 element of the fine if it 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 doesn't have to be released until Le Mans.

shares
comments
Rebellion warns LMP1 competition not "attractive"

Previous article

Rebellion warns LMP1 competition not "attractive"

Next article

Toyota expected privateers to be closer at Spa

Toyota expected privateers to be closer at Spa
Load comments
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Prime

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success.

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Prime

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and was considered the heavy favourite to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen.

Le Mans
Aug 15, 2021
Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio Prime

Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio

Having twice missed out on Formula 1 and reinvented himself as a touring car driver, Jose Maria Lopez has had a rocky ride to becoming a four-time world champion. One more would put him level with his nation's favourite son, but there's another prize he would value far more than the honour of matching Juan Manuel Fangio's tally.

WEC
Aug 14, 2021
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Prime

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year.

WEC
Jul 24, 2021