Question marks hang over Michelin at Monaco

BMW Motorsport director Gerhard Berger says Michelin will take a step into the unknown when the French tyre manufacturer's teams take to the track at Monaco on Thursday

Question marks hang over Michelin at Monaco

After its 17-year break from Formula 1, Michelin returns to the unique challenge of the Monte Carlo street circuit at a disadvantage to rivals Bridgestone, which has knowledge of the last four Monaco grands prix.

"The surface of the streets is a sensitive matter for tyre constructors," said Berger. "Michelin enters an unknown territory here and it's difficult to say where we will be with tyres.

"The quality of the whole package is particularly significant here. A lot of engine power is needed on the long uphill slopes and the tunnel straight, but even more important is the aerodynamic downforce on the rest of the track. A well functioning traction control system is also needed," he added.

Ralf Schumacher, currently fourth in the World Championship for the Williams-BMW squad, said: "The main question mark [at Monaco] is how the tyres will work. But I know [test driver] Marc Gene has been doing a lot of work with Michelin and so am sure they will have come up with some good compounds."

Jaguar Racing boss Bobby Rahal is also aware of the random nature of the streets of the Principality in the South of France.

"The Monaco Grand Prix has to be one of the most unpredictable races in the sporting calendar," said Rahal. "Because of the nature of this street circuit and its surface, it's impossible to simulate at test sessions in the run to this event."

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