Friday May 11th, 2001
French manufacturer Michelin will introduce new tyre compounds at this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix in the hope to move forward in their return season in Formula One.
"One of our dry-weather compounds is completely new, but the other has already been used earlier in the season," said Michelin's boss Pierre Dupasquier. "This weekend's wet and intermediate tyres are also totally new."
Dupasquier defended Michelin's wet weather tyres, which according to the Frenchman are now much better thanks to a testing session behind closed doors at the Valencia circuit last week.
"It is not correct to say that Michelinís rain tyres are ineffective," Dupasquier said. "On the contrary, the companyís reputation is founded on its ability to be competitive in extreme conditions.
"That said, it is true that the tyres that we took to the first few races of the season weren't ideally suited to the wet. But last week we conducted some tests that have led to us producing several interesting compounds.
"It (the A1-Ring) is nothing like Barcelona," he added. "We have moved from a circuit that is hyper-abrasive to one that is much easier on tyres. The two tyre compounds we have brought with us are much softer than those we used two weeks ago. It remains to be seen how much track conditions will change during the weekend."