Michelin Takes 100th F1 Win in Canada
Fernando Alonso’s (Renault F1 Team – Michelin) victory in Montreal has given Michelin its 100th win in Formula One racing. This latest success, Michelin’s seventh of the season, is the company’s 41st since returning to the sport in 2001. Around the same time Michelin made it clear that it would not tender for a single-supplier series.
After an exciting race, the remaining podium places were filled the Bridgestone-equipped Ferrari of Michael Schumacher (2nd) and the Michelin-shod McLaren of Kimi Raikonnen.
In a statement celebrating the company’s F1 success, a spokesperson described how during its first period of F1 involvement, between 1977 and 1984, Michelin scored 59 wins. Furthermore all but seven of the 100 wins have been achieved in the face of opposition from at least one other tyre manufacturer.
“Our victory in Canada marks an important occasion for everyone at Michelin,” said Michelin Group director Michel Rollier. “Our 130,000 employees were deeply affected by the recent death of Edouard Michelin and this 100th F1 victory is the finest tribute that our motorsport department and, by association, the entire workforce, could dedicate to his memory.”
Michelin motorsport director Frédéric Henry-Biabaud added: “It is obviously a great landmark to reach a century of Formula One world championship victories and I would like to pay tribute to all those at Michelin who have contributed to our success over the years.
“Simply making a good tyre is not enough, because if you don’t provide the proper service to your team to exploit its full potential, it is useless. You have to be able to provide your partners with a full package, so that they know exactly how to get the most from the products at their disposal. Whether they are working back at the factory in Clermont-Ferrand or performing on the frontline, at the racetrack, I believe Michelin’s workforce delivers unparalleled back-up – and that is one of our core strengths.”
Michelin’s first win was scored by Carlos Reutemann (Ferrari) in Brazil 1978, while Alain Prost holds the “record” for the most Michelin wins with 16. Current world champion Fernando Alonso could still beat that before Michelin bows out of the Formula One arena at the end of 2006. All 14 of his F1 victories have been scored on Michelin tyres.
Michelin not interested in supplying control tyre
The governing body of motorsport, the FIA, has for a long time advocated having a single tyre supplier for the Formula One championship and has invited tyre companies to tender for the right to be sole supplier. One company that will definitely not be bothering is Michelin and it makes it clear in a statement that it believes the move towards a single tyre is a great step backwards for the sport. The statement reads as follows:
“Michelin has continually made its belief known that Formula One should, as motorsport’s cutting edge discipline, be an arena where the most advanced technologies can do battle in the interest of motoring.
“In this respect, the changes in the Formula One rules to bring in a single-tyre supplier go completely against these principles. It is one more step towards standardising a sport which should be practised at the highest level of competition.
“As a result, Michelin will not reply to the FIA tender for tyre supply in Formula One. It does not wish to be seen to support the spirit of this tender at a time when the quality of its tyres has been amply demonstrated and appreciated by its partners, with a total of 99 Grand Prix wins over the years, under whichever rules have been in place.”
Michelin speaks with authority, as Fernando Alonso was last season’s Drivers’ Champion and, at the time of writing, his Michelin-shod Renault this year has a 23-point lead over Michael Schumacher (Ferrari/Bridgestone) and Renault leads Ferrari by 31 points in the Constructors’ Championship.