Michelin men decide what to wear

Michelin is going through a bit of a purple patch at the moment. A strong showing from its partner teams in Germany, followed by its 'home' race in France - the outlook could hardly be better. But the company is wary of talking up its chances at Magny-Cours as no defeat is quite as painful as one at home, and the Ferrari/Bridgestone combination has proven its winning form here

Michelin men decide what to wear

"Reflecting on the past few races it certainly appears as though we have provided our partners with extremely competitive tyres and they are making good use of them," said Michelin motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier. "For us, though, the French Grand Prix is a race just like any other. We don't have a great deal of track experience, either, because we don't do any private testing here."

But as far as the drivers who use the French rubber are concerned, no opportunity is too small to miss if they can wage a little psychological war on the opposition. "Our tyres should be really competitive in Magny-Cours," said Williams' Juan Pablo Montoya.

"As we have seen, especially in the last few races, Michelin has gained the upper hand in the tyre war and on their home ground they will aim to perform at the top even if they might be a bit more under pressure. With their help I hope I'll be able to repeat the pole position I set here in 2002, and take advantage of it, unlike last year when I finished fourth."

The nature of the track, as always, presents the teams with some difficult compromises. Michelin's F1 project manager Pascal Vasselon explains: "Magny-Cours is moderately abrasive and we bring tyres from the medium sector of our range," he said.

"Our choice is dictated by the ultra-high loads generated through Estoril corner, without which we could run much softer tyres. We have evaluated a range of possibilities for Magny-Cours and finally hit upon four dry-weather options that will be available to our partners."

Current weather forecasts have it warm and dry on Saturday and Sunday, with a 50 percent chance of rain on Friday.

shares
comments
I'm Here to Race, Says Montoya
Previous article

I'm Here to Race, Says Montoya

Next article

Jordan: the speed vs reliability game

Jordan: the speed vs reliability game
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move Plus

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022
The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships Plus

The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships

OPINION: Ferrari's Formula 1 title hopes look all but over after another strategic blunder in last week's Hungarian Grand Prix denied Charles Leclerc the chance to fight for victory, while handing it to chief rival Max Verstappen. The Scuderia now faces intense scrutiny over what it must now do to finally become a genuine factor in championship battles

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2022
The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision Plus

The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision

OPINION: Sebastian Vettel is set to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2022 and will, rather shockingly, be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin. But what about the final chapter of the other driver that defined the post-Michael Schumacher era? In Hungary, Lewis Hamilton spoke about his future in the context of Vettel’s upcoming departure, which offered clues on how long it will last

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022
Why all signs point to F1’s Monaco special relationship continuing Plus

Why all signs point to F1’s Monaco special relationship continuing

OPINION: With more potential venues than there are slots in future calendars, rumours have been circulating that the Monaco Grand Prix could be a casualty of F1’s expansion into new markets. But MARK GALLAGHER thinks this is highly unlikely

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022
Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

The Hungarian Grand Prix race result, after a dry race held without safety car conditions, bore little resemblance to what was anticipated after qualifying. While certain drivers were nullified by some iffy strategy calls, others shone to grasp opportunities afforded to them in the last F1 race before the summer break

Formula 1
Aug 1, 2022