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MICHELIN AND FORMULA ONE RETURN TO THE MONZA
|(August 29, 2005) – This weekend Formula One moves from its newest venue—Istanbul Park in Turkey—to its most ancient: Monza.
First used in 1922, Europe's oldest active racetrack is steeped in history and has staged more F1 world championship events than any other venue.
This year's race will be the circuit's 55th and it has failed to feature on the calendar only once since the world championship was established in 1950.
That was in 1980, when the race switched to Imola (before the latter was granted a race of its own—the San Marino GP).
Monza, which lies in a royal park within the Milanese suburbs, is not only the most venerated track, it is also the fastest.
In 2002, Juan Pablo Montoya qualified his Michelin-shod Williams-BMW on pole position at 259.827km./h (161.449mph)—the quickest recorded lap in F1 history.
Michelin has a proud record at Monza. In 1979, Ferrari driver Jody Scheckter scored the company's first F1 victory here—a result that secured him that season's world title.
There have been another five such successes since, with Alain Prost (Renault, 1981), René Arnoux (Renault, 1982), Nelson Piquet (Brabham-BMW, 1983), Niki Lauda (McLaren-TAG turbo, 1984) and Montoya (Williams-BMW, 2001). In last season's corresponding fixture, Jenson Button (B·A·R-Honda) was the leading Michelin runner, in third place.
Michelin's F1 victory tally continues to edge towards three figures: this weekend the company will be aiming for its 14th victory of the season and the 89th in its proud world championship grand prix history.
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director
"Monza is characterised by its high-speed straights—with cars touching almost 360km/h (224mph)—and quick, testing corners.
"Together, these two factors put a significant load on rubber, particularly at the rear. As with most circuits, tire manufacturers are obliged to seek a compromise.
"Despite the loads imposed by Monza's many high-speed sweeps, such as the Parabolica or Biassono, wear rates are not as significant as you might imagine during cornering.
"That said, the track's relative lack ofabrasiveness and the extreme speeds attained on the long straights combine to generate high tire temperatures.
"This unusual blend of low-wear corners and gruelling straights obliges us to run very specific compounds.
"What's more, drivers brake earlier here than they do at other tracks, because they run with relatively little aerodynamic downforce. Consequently, it is imperative to offer them consistent levels of grip."
Driver perspective: Jarno Trulli, Panasonic Toyota Racing
"The main characteristic at Monza is the circuit's high speed. You run with very little wing, there is a lot of hard braking and you need good traction coming out of slow corners. "When it comes to tires, as usual it is essential to find the right blend of consistency and performance, but the main potential problem is blistering. "That's what you have to avoid and you particularly need to control the situation at the exit of slow-speed corners.
I always enjoy the atmosphere at Monza and have usually gone well there, so I'll be looking for another good result this weekend."