Michelin go to Monza with Victory in Mind
Fresh from its recent success in the Belgian Grand Prix Michelin is preparing for this weekend’s Italian GP. With Formula One’s summer testing ban finally at an end, the company has spent some crucial time evaluating its tyre compounds at the Monza circuit.
The tyre manufacturer is confident that it will give a good performance this weekend as it has scored six of its 74 F1 grand prix victories at Monza, courtesy of Jody Scheckter (Ferrari, 1979), Alain Prost (Renault, 1981), René Arnoux (Renault, 1982), Nelson Piquet (Brabham-BMW, 1983), Niki Lauda (McLaren-TAG Turbo, 1984) and Juan Pablo Montoya (BMW WilliamsF1 Team, 2001). And according to the company pre-race testing at Monza went very well with Antonio Pizzonia setting the week’s fastest lap in his Williams-BMW.
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director commented: “During the recent tests at Monza, there were two incidents involving tyres: two rear tyres were damaged – and the pressure loss was accurately identified and measured by the on-board telemetry. Missing valve caps were clearly to blame on both occasions.
“This is another factor to add to the numerous theories that have been put forward since the spate of spectacular tyre incidents during the most recent race in Spa – where the inside edges of certain kerbs were suspected of having caused a few problems. So far, our internal investigations have produced nothing that could provide a clear technical reason. That’s good news in a way, because we have not been able to identify any technical errors on our part, but at the same time it is frustrating because we have not been able to reach any definitive technical conclusions.”
Pascal Vasselon, Michelin F1 programme manager added: “As at most circuits, tyre manufacturers have to deliver a compromise when finalising tyre compounds for Monza. Despite the loads imposed by ultra-quick corners such as the Parabolica, tyre wear isn’t physically excessive. Combined with the sustained high speeds down the long straights, this lack of wear generates significant tyre temperatures. Consequently, we can’t afford to run compounds that are too soft. We will bring four different dry-weather options to Monza. Michelin has performed very well at Monza in recent seasons and our encouraging testing form indicates that our engineers have struck the right balance once again.”