FIA president Jean Todt has insisted it will be motor racing's governing body and Formula 1's commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone, and not the teams, who will have the final say on which tire supplier the sport has next year.
As the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) closes in on a deal with Pirelli for 2011, Todt has made it clear that the choice of tire company is not something that can simply be left for the competitors to decide.
Teams have spent weeks trying to make their final choice on next year's tire supplier and, despite a last-ditch bid by Michelin at the Turkish Grand Prix to try and win the deal, it is understood that progress is continuing on finalizing terms with Pirelli. However, Todt has now said that the matter is still likely to go out to bid – which could leave the situation unresolved for several more weeks.
In an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien, which was published on Tuesday, Todt emphasized who would make the final decision on tires. Asked if, in the wake of FOTA pushing on with the Pirelli option, the FIA had a say, Todt said: "Of course it does. And it [the FIA] will soon launch a [bid], with the commercial promoter of the championship, Bernie Ecclestone. FOTA may suggest that it decides, but the strong man is not he who speaks the loudest."