Michelin Has the Last Word in Brazil
After a distinctly variable season, Michelin has ended the Formula 1 year on a high note. The BMW William’s Juan Pablo Montoya said a fond farewell to the team by winning the Brazillian Grand Prix. The Colombian beat another Michelin driver, future teamate Kimi Räikkönen, into second place. The victory was all the more pleasing to Montoya as it was his first win of the season and the fourth of his career.
“It feels incredible,” Montoya said. “The very first laps were difficult because I lost some positions at the start before the tyres got up to temperature, but then I seemed to have more grip than the others. There was real pressure from Kimi and I made one mistake, which made me think, ‘Whooah! Be careful’. But after that everything ran smoothly. I have had four great seasons with Williams and this is a great way to finish. I’d like to thank everybody.”
The first two on the podium finished well clear of the opposition. Rubens Barrichello’s Bridgestone shod Ferrari recovered to finish third, after gaining two places at his final scheduled stop. Behind him were Michelin users Fernando Alonso, Ralf Schumacher and Takuma Sato.
Jenson Button was in the thick of the action to begin with, but was forced to pull out of the race in lap four, after suffering an engine problem.
“There are worse ways than this to end a season! I would like to compliment everybody at Williams and McLaren for the way they have finished the campaign – and also Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Räikkönen, for the manner in which they conducted themselves in a no-holds-barred battle. It underlines what we have said throughout the season: we provide competitive tyres for all our partner teams, although circumstances have occasionally combined to deny us the results of which we are capable,” commented Michelin motorsport director, Pierre Dupasquier.