OCTOBER 30, 2001
McLaren-Mercedes switch to Michelin in 2002
AS we suggested in August, the McLaren International F1 team has signed a long-term deal to switch from Bridgestone to Michelin tires from the start of the 2002 season. The move marks the revival of a partnership which previously claimed 17 race wins from 1981 to 84 and the 1984 World Championship which was won by Niki Lauda.
Commented McLaren International Managing Director Martin Whitmarsh; "I am very pleased to be making this announcement. I have the greatest of respect for the Michelin company and its sporting achievements and believe that we can win World Championships again in the future. We are confident that the technical program envisaged by our respective engineering teams will enable us to achieve a highly competitive partnership in this increasingly important area of our sport."
Norbert Haug, head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, added; "Mercedes-Benz and Michelin have a long standing relationship in the field of tire equipment for production cars where Michelin is one of our most important partners. We are looking forward to a promising good collaboration in F1. What Michelin has achieved in their first year after their comeback promises a lot of potential for the future."
Sources close to the rival BMW Williams team have made it clear that the terms of the McLaren-Mercedes contract cannot offer any more in terms of support and backing than is already included in Michelin's deal with BMW Williams.
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