Michelin Apologise to Toyota Over Penalty

Tyre suppliers Michelin have apologised to Toyota for a mix-up that could cost Ralf Schumacher places on the Monaco Grand Prix grid

Michelin Apologise to Toyota Over Penalty

The incident, in Thursday's free practice, inflicted a half second penalty on the German's eventual aggregate qualifying time.

"We have apologised, no excuses whatsoever," said Michelin motorsport head Pierre Dupasquier, explaining how one of Ralf's tyres had been incorrectly marked.

"Be sure that all our quality processes are very straight and we do all we can to prevent stupidity like that but sometimes it happens. We should have done better."

The mistake was the second involving human error at the French company in the space of a week.

McLaren's Austrian test driver Alexander Wurz crashed heavily at high speed at the Le Castellet test track last week because a misplaced bar code, the identifying mark, meant a tyre was put on a wheel rim the wrong way round.

Dupasquier said that in the Wurz incident, Michelin had been testing a new bar code system for the sport's governing body in addition to the regular one. By error, a bar code was put on each side of the tyre.

"The rule is that the bar code is on the outside, for the FIA to check it," he said. "The fitter saw the bar code and put it on the outside, didn't pay attention to the fact that there were two codes."

Michelin have provided winning tyres in all five races so far this season, four times with Championship leaders Renault and the last in Spain with McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen.

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