Michelin: Williams Tyres Not to Blame

Michelin's Pierre Dupasquier believes the tyre failures that Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld suffered from at the Turkish Grand Prix were probably caused by the rubber making contact with a part of the Williams car

Michelin: Williams Tyres Not to Blame

As investigations continue into the exact cause of the failures, which led both Williams drivers to suffer two right-rear failures each, Dupasquier claimed his initial belief is that there was no fault with the tyres supplied to the team or the way they were being used.

"It's currently under investigation but it's clear it's something not related with the tyres," said Dupasquier. "Our friends from Williams and ourselves are working hard to establish what happened, but they will be the ones that will know it first."

Even though Dupasquier claimed it was too early to say exactly what element of the Williams car would cause the problem, he believed it could be that the tyres were rubbing on a part of the car.

"It could be contact with some part of the bodywork," he explained. "The chassis is so strong that we don't expect anything bizarre from that side. I don't know what happened; we'll have to analyse and understand it."

The possibility of the problems being the result of the tyres rubbing on bodywork has been fuelled by the fact that Williams technical director Sam Michael mentioned that the team had encountered a problem in that area during qualifying.

"We need to see what it really was," said Michael. "It's a piece everyone has, so we don't know if that was the cause or not.

"But it's too early to speculate. We'll go through all the data, see all the things that could be the reason and then we'll work with Michelin to try to establish what happened."

Although Michelin warned all their drivers about cutting inside the kerbs at Turn 13 prior to the race, Dupasquier believed this area of track was not the cause of Williams' problems.

"We did realise the kerb on the inside of Turn 13 was not friendly, so we warned all the teams to tell their drivers they would risk damaging the tyres if they would cut Turn 13 too much. It wasn't the problem Williams experienced, though, I can tell you."

There were some suggestions that the problem could have been related to the angle of camber that Williams used on their rear wheels, but this has been ruled out by Dupasquier.

"The figures we have for camber are correct, so it should not be that, but you never know," he said.

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Series Formula 1
Teams Williams
Author Jonathan Noble
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