Michelin delight at first championship double 17 Oct 2005
It wasnt just Renault who secured a title double at the Chinese Grand Prix - Michelin also had reason to celebrate after their tyres helped Fernando Alonso and Renault to both championships.
With their seven teams (to Bridgestones three), Michelin have dominated the 2005 season, winning 18 of the 19 races, recording 18 pole positions and setting 16 fastest laps. Their partners took 47 podium finishes from a possible 57 and scored 619 of the 741 available points.
Michelin made their Formula One debut with Renault back in 1977, so it was fitting that they should score their first championship double with the French team, and motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier, who retires at the end of this season, was eager to pay tribute.
I'd like to congratulate Flavio Briatore and the whole Renault team on their second F1 title success, he said. They have put together a fantastic package that has given them a vital edge over the course of the season. Fernando Alonso drove an absolutely faultless race today. He is extremely fast when he needs to be but understands how to manage his speed over a race distance we have seen that many times this year.
It would also be fitting to compliment all our partners for their contributions during what has been an incredible year for Michelin. I might be retiring, but I will leave with many warm memories of an exceptional farewell campaign. Michelin won't rest on its laurels, however. Our team will be hard at work again by Tuesday as it seeks to do it all again in 2006. To them and all our partners, I offer my very best wishes for the future.
Briatore was equally glowing in his praise for Michelins role in the teams success: When you win a world championship, it is a clear indication that everything is working very well as a package - the drivers, the chassis, the crew and the tyres. The latter play a fundamental role and Michelin has demonstrated this year that it has the upper hand.
There was an epic fight between Renault and McLaren for the constructors title. Even though Michelin knew it was assured of success either way, our success today is the culmination of a joint effort - and that is an important factor.
Despite their success, Michelin confirmed in Shanghai that in the interest of fair competition they will only be supplying five teams in 2006: Renault, McLaren, BAR, BMW and Red Bull Racing.