Chinese GP: Michelin preview

MICHELIN - AN F1 TYRE FOR ALL SEASONS An arduous, 19-race Formula One campaign - the longest in world championship history - draws to a close this weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit, the 19th venue to have hosted the seasonal ...

MICHELIN - AN F1 TYRE FOR ALL SEASONS

An arduous, 19-race Formula One campaign - the longest in world championship history - draws to a close this weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit, the 19th venue to have hosted the seasonal finale.

Since the series' inauguration in 1950, concluding races have previously taken place at Monza (Italy), Pedralbes and Jerez (Spain), Casablanca (Morocco), Sebring, Riverside, Watkins Glen and Las Vegas (United States), East London and Kyalami (South Africa) Mexico City (Mexico), Fuji and Suzuka (Japan), Montreal (Canada), Estoril (Portugal), Adelaide (Australia), Sepang (Malaysia) and Interlagos (Brazil).

Just seven days after racing at Suzuka, one of F1's oldest active tracks, Michelin and its seven partner teams are turning their attention to one of the newest. China staged its first F1 race on September 26 last year - a major landmark in the sport's history - and the challenging, 5.451-kilometre (3.387-mile) track was well received, as were its standard- setting facilities. Jenson Button (B*A*R-Honda) was the leading Michelin finisher, in second place.

This year's Chinese GP marks the end of a season in which Michelin and its partners have been extraordinarily dominant in F1 and a wide range of other motorsport disciplines. In addition to securing both F1 world titles, Michelin has enjoyed significant success in MotoGP, the World Rally Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Whatever happens on Sunday, Michelin has underlined its ability to provide competition tyres fit for any climactic conditions and, so far this year, has already secured victories on each of the five continents that feature on the F1 calendar.

Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director:

"It promises to be a thrilling seasonal finale in Shanghai, where two of our partner teams- McLaren Mercedes and Renault - will be fighting to decide the outcome of this year's world championship for constructors."

"Our goal, as always, will be to provide our partners with tyres that allow them to perform at their full potential over a full race distance. Last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix provided a perfect illustration of our ability to do exactly that.

"The Shanghai circuit is relatively new, of course, but last year's inaugural race gave us plenty of data and we know what to expect. It is a tough track for drivers and one or two corners place a very high load on tyres, but from a technical perspective it doesn't cause us too many headaches."

"This will be our 19th grand prix in eight months - and so far we have scored 17 wins. The Chinese GP thus marks the end of a long and arduous but incredibly successful F1 campaign."

Team perspective
Pat Symonds, executive engineering director, Renault:

"China is a reasonably demanding circuit for tyres: it's a long lap, which obviously means overall tyre energy is high, but it is also in the top third when you look in terms of energy per kilometre. This is because of a number of factors."

"There are lots of traction events - hard acceleration from low speeds - while T1 puts a high loading on the left front and T12/13 affects the left rear likewise. You also have to bear in mind the constant series of corners that basically runs all the way from T1 to T10.

"Overall, the drivers will often feel the car is lacking in grip because we are obliged to run lower than optimum downforce levels in order to maintain good top speed, and this makes mechanical grip a key factor."

"We selected our Shanghai tyres during testing in Jerez, at the end of September, and we are confident that Michelin's products will allow them and us to end what has already been an extremely successful season on a high."

-michelin-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button
Teams Mercedes , McLaren