ALONSO SECURES FORMULA ONE WORLD TITLE WITH MICHELIN Michelin driver Fernando Alonso (Renault) has made history as the youngest winner of the FIA Formula One world championship after taking third place in today's Brazilian Grand Prix at ...
ALONSO SECURES FORMULA ONE WORLD TITLE WITH MICHELIN
Michelin driver Fernando Alonso (Renault) has made history as the youngest winner of the FIA Formula One world championship after taking third place in today's Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, São Paulo.
Alonso, who made his F1 debut in 2001 after just two seasons of car racing, took the chequered flag at the age of 24 years, 1 month and 27 days in Brazil. Previous record-holder Emerson Fittipaldi was 25 years 8 months and 29 days old when he clinched the 1972 world title at Monza, Italy.
Alonso is the fourth driver to clinch the F1 title on Michelin tyres but the first to have done so since the company returned to grand prix racing in 2001.
His success caps a tremendous season for Michelin, which has totally dominated grand prix racing in conjunction with its seven partner teams.
With 17 of the 19 races complete, Michelin has notched up 16 victories, 16 pole positions and 14 fastest laps. Its partners have taken 41 podium finishes from a possible 51 and scored 543 of the 663 available points.
Michelin is also assured of victory in the world championship for Mconstructors, although its partners cLaren Mercedes - which leads by Mtwo points - and Renault have yet to settle the final outcome.
Michelin's double title success has been achieved during the first year of testing new F1 regulations that require drivers to use a single set of tyres for qualifying and a full race distance.
Teams have competed on five continents during the past seven months and Michelin's consistent success in a wide variety of climatic conditions has underlined its tyres' unparalleled performance and durability.
The company has also demonstrated its unrivalled versatility, thanks to similarly effective World Rally Championship and MotoGP campaigns - as well as an eighth consecutive victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours, the world's most gruelling endurance event.
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director:
"We offer our congratulations to Fernando Alonso and the whole of Flavio Briatore's Renault team. When it returned to the sport in 2002, team president Patrick Faure said he hoped to be challenging for the world title by 2005 and Renault has done rather more than that. I'm very happy that Michelin has helped the team fulfil its ambitions."
"Fernando and arch-rival Kimi Räikkönen have driven impeccably all season and the title has been settled over 17 races, rather than just today, but we can be proud of a magnificent effort by all our partners during this year's F1 campaign. Michelin's tyres have had the upper hand all season and we will spare no effort to maintain our dominance during the final two races."
Nick Shorrock, director of Michelin F1 activities:
"Today marks the culmination of a magnificent success for Fernando Alonso and everybody associated with Flavio Briatore's Renault team. It is a fitting tribute, too, to all those who have contributed to Michelin's world title effort, both here at the circuit and in our offices and workshops at Clermont- Ferrand."
"Our tyres performed as expected in Brazil today, with their customary blend of speed and durability. It has been a great day for Renault and a good one, too, for McLaren Mercedes, with a splendid one-two finish that has elevated the team to first place in the world championship for constructors. There is still plenty to race for in the final two grands prix of the season - and we look forward to playing our part in that."
Pat Symonds, executive engineering director, Renault F1 Team:
"Once again we had a podium full of Michelin drivers today- including the company's first world champion since it returned to the sport. That underlines the quality of its product. Michelin has effectively won every race in a dominant year and thoroughly deserves its title success."
Patrick Faure, president, Renault F1 Team:
"This title is a victory for Fernando Alonso and Renault, but it is just as much so for all of our technical partners - and Michelin is naturally foremost among them. The company has supported us every inch of the way and we have worked extremely well together."
"What's more, Michelin is guaranteed the world title for constructors, which can be won only by Renault or McLaren. It has been a perfect season for Michelin and I'd like to extend my compliments to its whole team."