MAY 22, 2000
Michelin and Ferrari
THERE are rumors that Ferrari may take a risk at the end of this season and switch to Michelin tires next year. While there are elements of risk involved in such a decision Ferrari knows that Michelin tires are likely to be very successful as the French company has enormous motor racing expertise. Ferrari racing boss Jean Todt has good connections with the French tiremaker from his days as head of Peugeot Sport and signing up Ferrari would be a major coup for Michelin as it takes on Bridgestone. Michelin has already signed up deals with BMW, Jaguar and Toyota and more are expected in the months╩ahead.
The Michelin test program has already covered well over 1000km and the data from those two four-day tests - carried out by Tom Kristensen in a BMW-engined Williams FW21B at the BMW test track at Miramas recently - is currently being analyzed. Michelin's major concern at the moment is to see if the computer simulation work it has been doing is confirmed by what happens on the race track.
The company has also collected data for wet tires having sprayed the track surface at Miramas. The Michelin test team is now expected to start visiting Grand Prix circuits around Europe.
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