|Michelin’s illustrious grand prix history|
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 04:07
Just six months after making its Formula One debut, Michelin scored its maiden victory when Ferrari driver Carlos Reutemann dominated the 1978 Brazilian Grand Prix. It was the beginning of a long winning streak... One year later, Michelin scored its first 1-2-3 in the French GP and Jody Scheckter steered his Michelin-shod Ferrari to the world title.
And although the Renault Turbo was initially a source of great amusement to rivals when it first appeared on its pioneering radial tyres, it went on to prove its mettle and scored a number of victories for Michelin during the early 1980s.
1977 • Legend of the yellow teapot
1978 • "El lole" breaks Michelin’s duck
Six months after Michelin's F1 debut, Carlos Reutemann (Ferrari) scores the company's first win in the Brazilian Grand Prix at Jacarepagua, Rio. Two months later the Argentine idol notches up Michelin's first F1 pole position in the US GP West at Long Beach.
1979 • Michelin’s double title triumph
1980 • The years roll on… and no two look the same
Renault scores 3 victories but this time Michelin has no others more titles to add to its tally.
1981 • 13 wins = fightback
Michelin ends up supplying the whole grand prix field for 7 races. There are 15 events in all and Michelin wins 13.
1982 • Close, but..
Michelin captures 11 pole positions and 8 wins, but even that is not enough to secure any additional F1 titles. Running on Michelins, McLaren driver John Watson finishes as world championship runner-up.
1983 • Another title in the bag
1984 • 59 wins in 112 grands prix
14 wins from 16 GPs contested – stop – Niki Lauda (McLaren) crowned world champion driver – stop – McLaren picks up constructors' title – stop – Michelin decides to withdraw after proving the worth of its radial technology at the pinnacle of motor racing.
2000 • Michelin, the comeback
2001 • Mission accomplished
2002 • A lot of ground covered in a short space of time…
Michelin might have finished the campaign with “only” two victories to its name, but it makes significant – and positive – technical progress with its range of dry-weather tyres.A string of encouraging results confirms that Michelin’s research and development engineers are taking steps in the right direction. By progressively finding its feet in F1, the company meets its initial targets and shows that it can offer its partner teams an advantage. Michelin eliminates virtually all the glitches it had encountered on its return to the sport in 2001. What’s more, by making a like-for-like comparison Michelin is able to demonstrate that it had gained an edge over its direct rival. The final championship standings reflect as much. The “men in red” might have wrapped up the top two positions, but Michelin drivers annexe the next seven. That doesn’t just happen by chance…
2003 • Michelin in full flight
2004 • Three wins, despite the dominant reds
The 2004 season is notable for Ferrari’s almost total dominance. The Italian team wins the titles for both constructors and – courtesy of Michael Schumacher – drivers. Despite the Scuderia’s run of form, Michelin underlines its ability to furnish competitive tyres to a wide range of partners by scoring a hat trick of victories with three different teams: Jarno Trulli (Renault) wins in Monaco, Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren-Mercedes) in Belgium and Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams-BMW) in Brazil. B·A·R Honda, which is running on Michelin tyres for the first time, has its best season to date and finishes second in the world championship for constructors. Michelin might not have taken any titles, but it still has a peerless reputation – that’s why Sauber-Petronas signs up as a seventh partner in for 2005.
2005 • Simply the best
The last year in Formula 1, 2006, brings Michelin the double World Championship. Renault wins the constructors tutle, Alonso the drivers Championship. Will we ever see Michelin back in Formula 1?