Vasselon moves to Toyota

The word on the strasse in Cologne is that Pascal Vasselon, formerly head of Michelin's F1 programme, has decided to leave the Clermont-Ferrand company and will take up a new role as a research and development engineer at Panasonic Toyota Racing rather than going off to head Michelin's 4x4 tyre development division in the United States. This may sound like a strange move but Vasselon is more an F1 engineer than he is a tyre man. A graduate of the Ecole Nationale Superieure de l'Aeronautique et de l'Espace in Toulouse, the famous "Sup-Aero" school which populates the European space programme, he joined Renault in F1 in 1985 as a suspension designer. He only moved to Michelin when Renault withdrew from F1 and by 1992 was involved with the company's competition programme, eventually becoming head of the F1 project in 2000. Vasselon worked closely with Mike Gascoyne when he was at Renault and so it is easy to understand how the relationship has developed from there.

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