Pierre Dupasquier Q&A

Tyres were very much the talking point at Interlagos last weekend, as the new rule requiring suppliers to bring only one wet came sharply into focus. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but inevitably the two companies have erred towards choosing an intermediate - a type of tyre which has shown well in many wet races over the past couple of years. However, there is rain and there is rain, and the kind seen just before the start in Brazil meant that it was impossible to send the cars out at racing speed on such tyres. It was obvious all weekend that the Bridgestones were more adapted for drying conditions that the more conservative Michelins, although ironically the accident rate in the race was split between the two companies. This week the FIA is discussing the implications of the wet tyre rule with teams. Adam Cooper spoke to Michelin's Pierre Dupasquier about the controversial topic

Pierre Dupasquier Q&A



"It was a very strange race under very tricky conditions, but it was a race. Unfortunately we did not take advantage of our hard work in developing a tyre suitable for conditions that are supposed to be appear after the safety car comes in. We were the only ones who could cope with this. Since the intermediate of our competitor was on half the pack, wisely the FIA decided to wait long enough for them to be in a decent condition to drive."



"Yes, definitely. If it was a Michelin runner on pole, it would have been four or five laps before. Anyway, in those conditions, with some accidents then the safety car was out again, and that was it. But at the end of the day the two McLarens were very strong, and David [Coulthard] could have won the race, definitely."



"Yes, absolutely. People kept saying we were bad in the wet, but it's very difficult to give the responsibility for performance to the car and the tyres. Except for the Ferraris, definitely we were competitive. Our tyre was good everywhere, and particularly in wet conditions, where you have a lot of downforce, which helps a lot. How far, how much, it's difficult to say. But we made very careful analysis after Silverstone last year for example, where you could see that except for the Ferraris and Michael in particular then we are much faster than people who are good in the wet, like Heidfeld, like Villeneuve, like Fisichella, all those guys. We worked a lot for rain conditions, but we never had that feeling that we were deficient."



"We worked very carefully on those conditions where we assumed the FIA could decently just bring the safety car in. Obviously as soon as the track became, not dry, but with less water, then we saw Michael and Barrichello coming back, and even Fisichella, which is normal. We were in a situation where we went more for a rain tyre for conditions after the safety car."



"It's OK. We worked according to this particular rule for a tyre which could cope with some rain on the track. After that it's visibility that prevents the race to go on, which is why there's a safety car."



"Yes, I think so. It will be less ridiculous than an intermediate in heavy rain, but between the tyre we had there and a little more depth will not solve the problem. With the width we have, with the characteristics of the car, in any case in very heavy rain it just doesn't work. A minimum depth is not a solution, unfortunately. It will just bring us 4-5kmh faster than what we have today. Even with full rain tyres an F1 car is not safe under heavy rain, and the safety car will be out anyway."



"What we like is to have the full freedom to bring any tricky and nicely developed solutions. But bringing five or six different rain tyres doesn't make sense, it's too expensive. So we prefer to have one tyre which makes it cheaper, but with a rule that forces tyre manufacturers not to gamble on there being a safety car."



"Even if it's further to being a rain tyre than what we had in Brazil, we're open to that, obviously. If we have a full rain tyre it's going to be a mess, because people will drive eight laps on wet conditions, and they have to pit because of wear."



"Yes. We're happy if we can save money and resources, to spend money on other problems."



"Yes, when we talk with them they are very open, listening to our arguments, and taking account of them. But there's not only our point of view in their responsibility."



"Until the car performs in real conditions, I have no idea what the car is capable of doing. We have great expectations about it."

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