China GP: Race notes - Michelin


Circumstances might have denied Michelin another Formula One victory in today's Chinese Grand Prix – but the Clermont-Ferrand company illustrated its tyres' performance advantage in changeable weather conditions. Defending world champion Fernando Alonso (Renault) built up a comfortable lead on a wet track in the early stages – and fought back after mid-race delays to post a searing series of fastest laps once conditions dried. He finished just 3.1s behind Michael Schumacher and the two men are now level on points with two races to go.

Michelin drivers filled eight of the top 10 places. Giancarlo Fisichella was third ahead of Jenson Button, Pedro de la Rosa, Rubens Barrichello, Nick Heidfeld, David Coulthard and Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Nick Shorrock, Michelin F1 director: "That was a very exciting race. The result wasn't what we were hoping for, but from a technical perspective this has been an immensely satisfying weekend. We proved our superiority in wet conditions during qualifying and had the upper hand in variable conditions today, although a combination of circumstances ultimately thwarted us.

"The decision to switch Fernando Alonso to new intermediate tyres at his first stop was taken jointly by Renault and Michelin – and obviously that cost him time while he waited for them to scrub in. With the benefit of hindsight that was a mistake, but in the heat of a race split-second decisions have to be taken.

"Conditions were unusual today, but we cantake a great deal of heart from the way our products performed and feel buoyant about our prospects as we head into the final two grands prix with both world titles still wide open."

Alain Dassas, president, Renault F1 Team: "With two races to go we are in a very strong position" "This was a magnificent race for the spectators and to get two cars on the podium is a great result for us, even though we would prefer to have been first and second. But with two races to go we are in a very strong position – we are leading one world championship and level-pegging in the other."

Pat Symonds, executive engineering director, Renault F1 Team: "Michelin's tyres have performed superbly in wet and dry conditions this weekend. It was easy to get the best from the car whatever the weather. Rain might well play a part in the final two grands prix of the season, so we feel quietly confident as we head for Japan and Brazil."

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Article from Pitpass (

Published: 01/10/2006
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