Michelin has acknowledged the €250,000 ($300,000) fine from the FIA that’s been handed to the tire manufacturer in this weekend’s World Endurance Championship season-opener, for a breach of the sporting regulations.
According to a FIA document released following a stewards meeting, the French tire manufacturer failed to supply 720 tires to the FIA for storage and redistribution to teams for later use in the 2018-19 ‘Super Season’
A new-for-2018 rule, approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in December, stipulates that tires from each WEC manufacturer must be collected 24 hours prior to the first event, and would be randomly reintroduced during the season at the discretion of the technical delegate.
The rule is understood to be aimed to prevent tire manufacturers from rolling out developments to its lineup of tires which are already homologated for the entire season.
It is understood to be the biggest fine imposed in WEC history.
A statement from the FIA reads: “The breach of regulation compromises the sporting equity and fairness of all the WEC Super Season as the stability of the different tire specifications delivered by Michelin will not be guaranteed in the future.”
As a result, Michelin has been given a €250,000 fine, €50,000 of it to be paid immediately and €200,000 suspended until the delivery of the tires by the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the latest.
Michelin, which supplies 32 of the 35 full-season WEC entries, released the following statement:
“It is effectively the case that Michelin did not provide the FIA or the ACO with the total quantity of tires that needed to be set aside for the Super Season, as required by the regulations.
“The FIA and the ACO were informed several weeks ago that the production capacity of our factory did not, at this period of the year, permit us to comply with this new stipulation in the regulations which requests Michelin to produce a quantity of tires equivalent to the organization of an additional race.
“The explanations provided by Michelin to the FIA and the ACO were turned down.
“Michelin has taken note of the decision.”
It’s unclear if Michelin will be able to provide the necessary tires in time for Le Mans, in order to prevent facing the remaining €200,000 fine.
According to the FIA, Michelin had expressed disagreement over the adoption of the rule during the this weekend’s hearing and said it exposes the manufacturers to constraints of production.