Michelin Confirms Vasselon Switch

Michelin's motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier has confirmed that the company's former F1 manager Pascal Vasselon is switching to the Toyota team, as autosport-atlas exclusively revealed last week

Michelin Confirms Vasselon Switch

Vasselon had led the French tyre manufacturer's engineering efforts in F1 since the company re-entered Grand Prix racing at the start of 2001, but he was told he would not be continuing his motor racing activities at the end of last year, after Michelin conducted a management reshuffle. He had been due to switch to work on off-road tyres in the United States but decided to leave the company and take up an offer with Toyota instead.

He is due to join the Japanese manufacturer's R&D department to assist with the design of the team's cars, both in terms of the way it interacts with tyres and improving its suspension dynamics. Vasselon has great experience of suspension systems from an earlier spell in his career at Renault.

Dupasquier has welcomed Vasselon's switch to Toyota and claimed he is confident that none of Michelin's secrets will be leaked to the Cologne-based team, which recently scored theor first podium finish.

"When we offered Pascal a chance to develop his Michelin career via a new role in the United States, he told us that he would like to remain in F1," Dupasquier said in a company interview. "The fact that one of our partners has offered a job to a former Michelin engineer underlines that it recognises the importance of the role tyres have to play.

"As for any secrets Pascal might be taking with him, I am well enough acquainted with his integrity and professionalism to know that he will conduct himself appropriately. He is - and always will be - a first-class engineer. We wish him every success."

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