Michelin aided by 'wet-track' system

Tyre Supplier Michelin's will be helped in their efforts to close the wet-weather performance gap to rival Bridgestone by the development of a ground-breaking rain simulation system, according to this week's AUTOSPORT

Michelin aided by 'wet-track' system

The Paul Ricard circuit in France has installed a new sprinkler system that will enable teams to undertake wet-weather at any given time. The computerised system allows teams to accurately simulate any level of rainfall, through the use of 315 sprinklers. Although the circuit is open to all teams only Toyota, which runs Michelin tyres, uses it as a permanent test facility meaning that the French manufacturer has most to gain from the system.

The boss of the Paul Ricard circuit, Philippe Gurdjian, "We've been investigating the best way to give teams the opportunity of doing 'wet-track' testing for two years. This is a sophisticated solution that can simulate many track conditions."

Since its return to Formula 1, Michelin has struggled to match the intermediate and wet tyres of rival Bridgestone. New regulations introduced for next season limiting tyre manufacturers to just one type of wet compound at each race have placed even more emphasis on perfecting a wet weather tyre.

Mike Gascoyne, technical director of Renault, which runs Michelin tyres, said: "Now there's only one wet tyre allowed, it has to work. The hope is that this [system] will help Michelin develop that."


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