French GP: Michelin race notes

MICHELIN AND WILLIAMS DOMINATE AGAIN Seven days after scoring his maiden Formula One victory of the season at the Nürburgring, Ralf Schumacher has done it again. The German led all the way from pole position to give the BMW WilliamsF1 Team ...

MICHELIN AND WILLIAMS DOMINATE AGAIN

Seven days after scoring his maiden Formula One victory of the season at the Nürburgring, Ralf Schumacher has done it again. The German led all the way from pole position to give the BMW WilliamsF1 Team its third win of the campaign and Michelin its fifth. It was the 70th world championship grand prix success in Bibendum's F1 history. Just as he did last weekend, Juan Pablo Montoya backed up his Williams team-mate with a strong run to second place.

World championship leader Michael Schumacher jumped ahead of McLaren-Mercedes/Michelin drivers Kimi Räikkönen and David Coulthard at the final round of scheduled stops to take third place. Coulthard was delayed in the pits because of a mix-up over whether he had been fully topped up. He left his pit prematurely and a member of the team was dragged over by a flailing refuelling hose. Nobody was seriously hurt, however. The two McLarens went on to finished fourth and fifth. Räikkönen remains second in the title chase -- eight points adrift of one Schumacher and three ahead of the other.

Michelin drivers took six of the eight points-scoring positions. Mark Webber was sixth for Jaguar, which equalled his best result of the season, and Olivier Panis (Toyota) finished eighth in his home race. Michelin-shod Renault team-mates Fernando Alonso and Jarno Trulli were on course to score their customary helping of points, but both were forced to retire with engine problems shortly after half-distance.

Remaining Michelin drivers Antonio Pizzonia (Jaguar) and Cristiano da Matta (Toyota) both had trouble-free runs to the finish, in 10th and 11th places respectively.

Michelin's day: Pierre Dupasquier -- Michelin Motorsport Director

MICHELIN AND WILLIAMS AT THE DOUBLE -- AGAIN
Michelin and the BMW WilliamsF1 Team scored their second Formula One world championship double in the space of seven days with a dominant performance in today's French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours. As they did at the Nürburgring last weekend, Williams drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya left rivals in their wake as they racked up Bibendum's 70th world championship grand prix success. It was the company's fifth F1 victory of the season.

Michelin motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier said: "BMW WilliamsF1 Team did a fantastic job today. This was an exceptional result that once again underlined the competitiveness of our partners. The results of the first two days hinted at our tyres' potential -- and today's result confirmed it. Our recent performances in Monte Carlo, Canada, Germany and here prove that we are capable of supplying ultra-competitive tyres at many different types of circuit."

SIX APPEAL
Williams-BMW was not the only Michelin team to shine during the French GP. Michelin cars took six of the top eight places and four of its partner teams scored points. McLaren-Mercedes team-mate Kimi Räikkönen and David Coulthard finished fourth and fifth, Mark Webber (Jaguar) was sixth and Olivier Panis (Toyota) took eighth place -- and the final point -- in his home grand prix. Renault was the only Michelin team not to score, but both its cars were running strongly when technical problems intervened.

Pierre Dupasquier: "Our tyres have been very consistent today. The rate of wear was low and they have performed reliably for all our partner teams. Our sole objective in F1 is to be successful -- and right now we are on the crest of a wave. Our results highlight the excellent job that our technical team is doing. It was particularly pleasing to achieve a result like this so close to home, with about 1,500 of our employees watching the race live."

SEARCHING FOR MORE GAINS IN SPAIN
The final major Formula One test before the mandatory seven-week summer break takes place in Barcelona, Spain this week. Michelin won't be resting on its laurels following its recent run of success, however. Pierre Dupasquier: "We have a very big test programme planned this week and we'll be evaluating many new products. We might be on top of our game at the moment, but there is no room for complacency in this sport and we will always strive to make our tyres even better."

-michelin-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Mercedes , McLaren , Williams