Michelin confused by Malaysian race

PIERRE DUPASQUIER, the motorsport director of Michelin, has said he was pleased, but confused, by the performance of his company's tires as BMW-Williams driver Ralf Schumacher secured their first world championship points.

Dupasquier watched Schumacher claim fifth place for two points but was intrigued by the performance of his car as he sped away at the start and then had to work hard to hold off the challenge of Mika Hakkinen's McLaren with Bridgestone tires in the latter stages.

"It's obviously pleasing to score some points but this was a very strange race," said Dupasquier.

"It is still very early, but I am sure we can learn something from this race," he continued. "Although right now I am very confused by lots of its elements.

"Ralf was fast, particularly in the middle third, and Hakkinen seemed to struggle early on," said Dupasquier. "And then they seemed to swap. I really don't know why.

"Judging by Ralf's times, our tires seem to be capable of being both quick and constant, but we will need a lot more races under more 'normal' circumstances before we really know where we are."

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