Michelin motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier clarifies a few questions about tyre wear, one of Formula One's current hot topics. There was lots of talk about a high level of tyre wear during the previous grand prix in Sepang, Malaysia, but you...
Michelin motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier clarifies a few questions about tyre wear, one of Formula One's current hot topics.
There was lots of talk about a high level of tyre wear during the previous grand prix in Sepang, Malaysia, but you said you didn't have any problems?
"Sepang was very tough in terms of the amount of punishment tyres had to take, but our partner teams had no real concerns. Once the tyres had been cleaned after the end of each stint, the mandatory grooves were still visible, even on Ralf Schuamcher's car , which went through the race with just one stop."
How can the stewards define when grooves have worn away beyond the legal limit?
"That remains something of a grey area. We suggested last season that something should be done to make the rules clearer, but nothing happened. If you look at a photograph of the top three cars in parc fermé at the end of the Malaysian Grand Prix, you can well understand that assessing the tyres is quite a sensitive matter."
How are you tackling the Brazilian GP? Do you think there might be more worries about tyre wear this weekend?
"Last season we used a soft compound at this track and it proved very effective ^Ö Ralf Schumacher (Williams-BMW/Michelin) set fastest lap quite comfortably in the race. I don't expect there to be any tyre problems at all this weekend."
How confident is Michelin about a second straight grand prix victory after its success last time out?
"We saw in Malaysia that several of our partner teams, notably BMW.WilliamsF1 and Renault, were extremely quick. That said, Ferrari has brought its new car this weekend, which could shake things up at the front of the field."
Does any particular race strategy suit Interlagos better than others?
"Given what we saw last season, it might pay dividends to stop once, twice or even three times."