Amid the farewells

Pierre Dupasquier, Brazilian GP 2005

Pierre Dupasquier, Brazilian GP 2005 

 © The Cahier Archive

The Formula 1 circus has been going through a series of farewell parties this year in Shanghai. Much is being made of the departure of Peter Sauber and Paul Stoddart and the disappearance of the Jordan name but probably the most significant departure of all has been rather more low-key. Pierre Dupasquier, the man who has driven Michelin's Competition Department for 30 years, is finally retiring. Pierre joined Michelin in 1962 after serving as a fighter pilot in the French Air Force and after five years working in tyre development, spent a period working as the liaison between Michelin and its automobile company customers. In 1973 he was appointed to head the competition department. Since then Michelin has collected dozens of World Championships with motorcycles and cars. In 1977 Dupasquier led Michelin into F1 to launch Grand Prix racing's first radial tyres, the following year the company scored its first victory when Carlos Reutemann drove to victory for Ferrari at Jacarepagua in Brazil and in 1979 Jody Scheckter became Michelin's first Formula 1 World Champion. In the five years that followed Michelin won 59 races, three Drivers' titles and two Constructors' Championships. After Michelin withdrew from Formula 1 at the end of 1984 Dupasquier was appointed vice-president of product development for Michelin in the United States and he stayed in the US for six years before returning to take up his former role as head of the competition department. In 1999 he convinced Edouard Michelin that the firm needed to be back in F1 and led the programme which resulted in World Championship success this year with Renault.

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