Brazilian GP Michelin pre-race report

Brazilian Grand Prix - April 1, 2001 The most recent round of the FIA Formula One World Championship at Sepang saw Michelin score its first points since returning to the F1 arena. Despite the difficult conditions, Michelin was again able to...

Brazilian Grand Prix - April 1, 2001 The most recent round of the FIA Formula One World Championship at Sepang saw Michelin score its first points since returning to the F1 arena. Despite the difficult conditions, Michelin was again able to obtain valuable data for the future. However, there were no celebrations: Michelin is well aware that it still has a lot to learn in this discipline. This time, the points were earned through the performance of Ralf Schumacher and his BMW WilliamsF1 FW23. Starting from the second line, he finished fifth in a highly eventful race, setting second fastest lap time on the way. Schumacher and the other Michelin drivers gave the company's engineers reason for cautious optimism: for example three cars each covered more than 30 laps on the same set of tyres, providing further valuable information to put in the databanks. "We were just 3/10ths of a second off pole and set second fastest lap time in Sepang," said Pierre Dupasquier. "We will be working with our partners to build on the lessons learnt from this performance and Interlagos will once again provide another excellent `testing' opportunity for us!"

Brazil nuts for F1!
Global for its audience, British in its history and Italian for its tifosi, Formula One is also Brazilian for the sheer class of its drivers and the enthusiasm of the public in the stands. This will be the 29th running of the Brazilian Grand Prix and the 19th on this Interlagos track, in the suburbs of Sao Paolo. Contrary to the majority of other F1 circuits, Interlagos has the peculiarity of running anti-clockwise, as does Imola. At 4.309 km long, it is over a kilometre shorter than Sepang. The race is scheduled to run 71 laps (305.909 km). Interlagos is a track with many fast turns. It offers opportunities for overtaking at the end of the pit straight and through the Juncão bend. Although the track was resurfaced between 1999 and 2000, it remains fairly bumpy and can be tiring for drivers. The heat could also play an important role during the race, while storms could once again spring a surprise on drivers and strategists alike. "Interlagos is a superb track, extremely demanding on tyres because of the endless turns. You have to turn into each one, hold it through the bend and then come away before setting up for the next one," explains Pierre Dupasquier. "We're still a long way from optimising all the parameters involved in this sport, but Interlagos should help us to gain a clearer understanding with a view to providing drivers with better products before the end of the year," continues Michelin's Competition Director. "But we don't expect miracles in Brazil. The little time available to the teams between Asia and South America doesn't leave much room for innovation." As per the regulations, two types of dry tyre and three types of rain tyre will be available at Interlagos. For the record: Alain Prost has the highest number of victories in Brazil, with six wins between 1982 and 1990. -Michelin

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Alain Prost
Teams Williams