SEPTEMBER 18, 2000

Michelin sneaks closer to Formula 1

MICHELIN continued its preparations for entering Formula 1 at Monza last week, trying out a circuit soon after a GrandÊPrix for the first time in the hope of gaining some form of comparison with the current Bridgestone rubber. The French firm is keen to get an idea of its level of competitiveness but as Bridgestone is refusing to cooperate this is not easy. Michelin's testing efforts now involve two cars at each test with a Williams-BMW for Tom Kristensen and a Stewart-Ford for Jorg Muller.

Michelin is also refusing to give details of its lap times. The company has been running tests since May and has now completed several thousands of miles of running at the BMW testing facility at Miramas and at a variety of other tracks including Silverstone and Jerez.

Michelin is also very active on the political front as the company is not happy about the current regulations about the policing of the grooved F1 tires, reckoning that there will be problems next year if there are not revised regulations.