Atlas F1 News Service

Michelin Close to History Repeat

Tuesday April 3rd, 2001

Williams put in an impressive performance in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix, but the crash that sent Juan Pablo Montoya out of the race cost Michelin the chance to repeat history.

Brazil was the setting for the French tyre manufacturer's debut win of their first stint in Formula One, and during this year's race the company's motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier thought they might be in for a repeat victory.

"For a moment," he said. "When I saw Juan Pablo take the lead and control it from the front, I began to say 'Could history repeat itself?'.

"As we know now, 'No' is the obvious answer, but we were extremely pleased to see him lead for so long."

The race saw Benetton become the second of Michelin's teams to score a point this year, but it was the Williams team that caught the eye of Dupasquier.

"The performance of the two BMW-Williams cars, despite Ralf's early incident, gives us reason to believe that even at this early stage our tyres are competitive," he added.

"In the final analysis, Ralf's overall fastest lap time and the times that we set when it was 'heavy rain' makes us think that we are already there or thereabouts...but there's still a lot of work to come."

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