Spanish GP: Michelin preview

2002 FIA Formula One World Championship Spanish Grand Prix - Circuit de Catalunya - Sunday April 28 The fifth race of the Formula One season takes place this weekend (April 27-28) at the Circuit de Catalunya, near to Barcelona. The Michelin ...

2002 FIA Formula One World Championship Spanish Grand Prix - Circuit de Catalunya - Sunday April 28

The fifth race of the Formula One season takes place this weekend (April 27-28) at the Circuit de Catalunya, near to Barcelona. The Michelin team wasn't exactly overjoyed after the previous race in Imola, but contrary to what has been reported in some quarters the staff weren't despondent, either. More than anything, the engineers from Clermont-Ferrand were extremely curious about Ferrari's convincing 1-2 victory.

Michelin motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier says: "We noticed in Brazil that Ferrari's new F2002 had great potential, but we didn't believe the team's technical director Ross Brawn when he predicted it would be one and a half seconds per lap faster than the previous car. But it turns out he was right."

Next stop: Barcelona

Much is expected of Michelin in Barcelona, because this is the Formula One track at which the tyre manufacturer has conducted a great deal of its testing. Does that mean it will suit the company better than Imola did?

Pierre Dupasquier says: "Imola has a number of chicanes and a track surface that is moderately abrasive; Barcelona features high-speed corners that generate great downforce and an extremely abrasive surface that really takes its toll on tyres. "The two new compounds we are bringing to Spain have been evolved specifically for this track. It remains to be seen whether the Ferraris are going to be as comfortable in the quick corners as they were in certain sections of the Autodromo Enzo Ferrari, at Imola."

"This will be important because it will help increase our overall understanding of how Formula One cars perform. "In Barcelona, either the performance gap will be reduced and all the hard work we have done will help us take the battle to Ferrari or the margin of superiority will remain unchanged and we will have to take an even harder look at what we are doing."

The Barcelona circuit is 4.727 kilometres (2.937 miles) long. It requires a well-balanced chassis and demands very fine judgement when it comes to set-up.

It was at this circuit last year that Juan Pablo Montoya (BMW.WilliamsF1 Team/Michelin) scored the first podium result of his Formula One career, when he finished second.

-michelin-

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