Michelin motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier speaks about the Brazilian Grand Prix and the first European race, the San Marino GP, at Imola in two weeks time. Q: You set the pace in the build-up to the race and supplied tyres to seven of the...
Michelin motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier speaks about the Brazilian Grand Prix and the first European race, the San Marino GP, at Imola in two weeks time.
Q: You set the pace in the build-up to the race and supplied tyres to seven of the top eight finishers, but victory narrowly eluded you. How much of a disappointment was that?
A: "It was hugely disappointing but, as I keep saying, Michael Schumacher and Ferrari are very hard to beat and we just have to keep trying and trying again. We need to keep the pressure on and we are doing that at the moment."
Q: You must derive an awful lot of satisfaction from the fact that so many of your partner teams are proving to be competitive.
A: "Absolutely. McLaren-Mercedes and Renault are challenging at the front with Williams-BMW and have shown that they are consistently on the pace. That's a sign of a strong and productive collaboration between them and us."
Q: The Jaguars scored their best result of the season too.
A: "That was good to see. They have clearly made a lot of progress this weekend."
Q: How do you feel about Toyota's progress? It might be Formula One's newest team, but they have scored points in two of the opening three races?
A: "They are doing an excellent job. Mika Salo looks as though he is going to qualify regularly in the top ten and if you can do that you can always challenge for a points finish."
Q: Next stop, Imola - where last season you scored your first victory since returning to F1. Temperatures will be much cooler than they have been for the past two races. Do you know yet what tyre compounds you will be bringing?
A: "We are in the process of finalising our choice. The cooler temperatures at the San Marino Grand Prix don't worry us, obviously, because we proved last season that we are competitive there. We will be using compounds and constructions that are different from those we ran here in Brazil. For the most part they will be new designs, but some elements are based on technology we have used before."