May 23 (GMM/Inautonews.com) The battle to be F1’s sole official tyre supplier in 2017 and beyond is already heating up.

On Friday, on behalf of Pirelli, former F1 driver turned broadcaster Martin Brundle drove a GP2 test car around the Monaco circuit fitted with experimental 18-inch tyres.

It is clear that the Italian tyre maker, in F1 since 2011, will meet the FIA’s June 17 deadline to apply for the 2017 contract.

But also obviously keen is Michelin, the French marque that competed against Goodyear and Bridgestone until 2006.

Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport reports that Michelin is also pushing ahead with the development of lower-profile, wider tyres for F1, to be fitted to a Formula Renault 3.5 test car.

“Staying with 13-inch tyres is a form of treading ground,” Michelin’s racing boss Pascal Couasnon said in a document issued by the tyre maker on Friday.

“Formula one has successfully become more modern in many areas but it is not a hotbed of innovation in the realm of tyres,” he added.