British GP: Michelin preview

During the most recent round of the FIA Formula One World Championship - the Grand Prix of Europe at the Nürburgring - Michelin-equipped cars monopolised the front row of the grid and Kimi Räikkönen (West McLaren-Mercedes/Michelin) took third...

During the most recent round of the FIA Formula One World Championship - the Grand Prix of Europe at the Nürburgring - Michelin-equipped cars monopolised the front row of the grid and Kimi Räikkönen (West McLaren-Mercedes/Michelin) took third place in the race.

During the build-up to the season's 10th F1 event of the season on July 7 in Silverstone, England, Michelin motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier would like to underline a couple of points that some of the more attentive observers made about the previous race in Germany.

The first concerns the performance of our rivals at Ferrari. Dupasquier says: "It is worth noting that it took only 38 laps for Rubens Barrichello to be a full circuit ahead of the next-fastest chassis on the same kind of tyres - and that was a Sauber, which is also powered by a Ferrari engine. That underlines a level of performance that is presently unique to the Italian team."

The second point concerns the different strategies adopted by certain teams. Dupasquier adds: "By their nature, tyres that offer a very high level of performance tend to suffer a higher rate of wear but they can be used strategically according to their strengths and weaknesses: in theory, they are suited to cars running short stints on light fuel loads.

"But we saw at the Nürburgring that Kimi Räikkönen (West McLaren-Mercedes) ran a one-stop race and started out with a 30 kg weight penalty because of his extra fuel load. That made him about one second per lap slower - so what might he have achieved had he opted to run a two-stop strategy?

"Believe me, Monsieur Edouard Michelin did not leave disappointed after attending the Grand Prix of Europe. He would far rather witness an audacious challenge than a walkover victory!"

Silverstone

This 5.140-kilometre track (3.19 miles) is very different from any other at which we have raced so far this season and features an interesting blend of quick and slow corners. For the British Grand Prix Michelin has selected new primary (A) and option (B) tyre compounds. One of these was recently evaluated during a test session in Barcelona. Silverstone can be quite abrasive and so the tyres we have chosen come from the "harder" end of our range.

Pierre Dupasquier says: "We are determined to pursue tyre development in an appropriately aggressive manner and will continue to work closely and harmoniously with partner teams that share our every ambition."

As a footnote, Michelin comes to Silverstone after a successful weekend at Anderstorp, Sweden. For those who might have missed it, the Michelin-shod Ferrari 550 Maranello of Andrea Piccini and Jean-Denis Delétraz overcame the teeming rain to finish more than 1m 30s clear of its nearest non-Michelin rival.

-michelin-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Andrea Piccini
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren