JANUARY 17, 2000

Michelin plans test team

MICHELIN is looking at running a testing team this year.

MICHELIN is looking at running a testing team this year. The company's motorsport boss Pierre Dupasquier attended the BMW Williams launch in Munich last week and confirmed that he would like to begin track testing in the Spring. Initially these tests would be held at Michelin test facilities but the company would soon need to begin testing on F1 circuits and, in an ideal world, against cars running on Bridgestone tires.

Although F1 teams have testing restrictions, a company running outside the World Championship with an old F1 car is not covered by any agreements. Bridgestone will not want one of its contracted teams running on Michelin tires but if the French tiremaker was to acquire a car and run it in Michelin colors there is no reason why there cannot be an intensive test program in 2000. Before entering F1 Bridgestone did exactly that, running 8,000km with a Ligier-Mugen JS41 and an old Arrows. Honda was also able to run a test program as it was not racing in the World Championship at the time.

In all probability, Michelin will acquire the Williams-BMW FW21D which is being run at the moment and will run a team out of Clermont Ferrand in much the same way as BMW acquired a Williams FW20 and ran it this year in tests with JorgÊMuller driving.