Michelin eyes Spa advantage

Michelin motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier believes that racing in the Spa 24 Hours last month on the slightly revised and mostly resurfaced venue has helped its cause ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix

Michelin eyes Spa advantage

Michelin was soundly thrashed by Japanese rival Bridgestone in the recent Hungarian Grand Prix, where 12 months previously the leading Bridgestone runner had finished a lapped eighth. The French tyre manufacturer will be looking to bounce back this weekend at Spa, one of the most challenging circuits in the world.

"Spa has changed subtly since Formula 1 last raced here in 2002 - but we have a good idea how the alterations will affect tyre performance," said Dupasquier. "A number of Michelin teams competed successfully in the recent Spa 24 Hours. We picked up some useful data that helped us to finalise our tyre specifications for the Belgian Grand Prix."

Michelin's F1 programme manager Pascal Vasselon added: "We can't be exactly sure how performance levels will have increased since 2002. Eau Rouge used to be one of the greatest barometers of driver commitment, but now there's a chance that everybody will take it flat throughout the weekend.

"As far as tyre choice is concerned, we know how Spa compares to other circuits we have raced at recently and have used that as a gauge when assessing the degree to which lap times are likely to be reduced. One major question remains, however, because about half the track has been resurfaced - and that affects virtually all the points at which cars used to be on the absolute limit of adhesion."

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