Michelin: optimum performance in Melbourne The Renault F1 Team's Technical Partner is amid final preparations: this week's testing will allow them to confirm tyre choices for the first race. Pascal Vasselon, head of Michelin's F1 programme, ...
Michelin: optimum performance in Melbourne
The Renault F1 Team's Technical Partner is amid final preparations: this week's testing will allow them to confirm tyre choices for the first race.
Pascal Vasselon, head of Michelin's F1 programme, discussed the areas currently being worked upon, and the results gained two weeks ahead of Melbourne.
Q: Have you confirmed your choices for the first race?
Pascal Vasselon: We have made good progress on a significant proportion of the tyre specs we will use at Melbourne. Our choices will be finalised this weekend according to the data collected by our partner teams during their testing this week. As for Renault, every lap they complete at imola is important for Michelin: we weren't as competitive at this track as some others in 2003, and this test will also allow us to take a look at the first European race of the season.
Q: You are testing in very different conditions to those you will find in Melbourne...
PV: That's true. Having said that, we have developed over time an extremely effective system of extrapolation which, according to the circuit and the temperatures, allows us to predict the results we would get in Australia. There's a little bit of mental gymnastics involved! The process is based partly on a digital model, and partly on our experience at the track. It is becoming more and more reliable.
Q: Will the tyres in Melbourne be significantly different to those used in Suzuka at the end of 2003?
PV: Yes. We have made significant progress since last year. When our partners confirm a good development, that becomes our new benchmark, and we try and improve our product from that baseline. Since the start of the winter, we have gone through several different levels on this scale.
Q: Is Melbourne a difficult circuit for Michelin?
PV: Let's say that along with Imola, Albert Park is the circuit at which our competitive advantage has not been quite so impressive in recent years... and that's in spite of a 100% Michelin podium in 2003! We have tried to make the most of all our testing in order to provide an omptimum performance envelope in two weeks' time.