Atlas F1 News Service
Michelin Announces F1 Return in 2001

Thursday December 16th, 1999

Tyre maker Michelin announced today that it is returning to Formula One racing with the Williams and Toyota teams. The announcement complements the companyís outstanding record in racing activities, including the World Rally Championship, GT, World Superbikes and FIM 500cc/250cc/125cc championships.

"This decision is part of our worldwide strategy," said Edouard Michelin, Chief Executive of the Michelin Group. "Racing and F1 in particular present a very strong potential in terms of communicating our technological leadership. Our entry in F1 will help us reinforce our position in Europe and gain recognition and improve our presence in Asia and South America. It will also increase our racing presence in North America. We are convinced that this is a good investment."

Starting with the 2001 season, Michelin will team up with BMW-Williams. BMW was also Michelinís partner at Le Mans this year, which the BMW team won. Sometime before the 2003 season, Michelin will also become the tyre supplier for Team Toyota. In 1999 Toyota won the Manufacturers' Championship in World Rally on Michelin tyres.

"We are well acquainted with the racing teams of Toyota and BMW-Williams," said Pierre Dupasquier, Michelinís Director of Racing. "Even though we have not been competing in Formula One in recent years, Michelin has kept a close eye on the sport and its evolution. We look forward to taking on the challenge and I assure you we will bring our reputation for technology and quality service to be competitive."

Despite its past successes Michelin considers this the start of a new adventure. As Edouard Michelin explains: "This sport has evolved considerably in the past 15 years. Thatís why we say we are entering, not re-entering. Automotive technology has changed and tyres have changed, too. Itís going to be a challenge and at Michelin we love challenges!"

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