Michelin set for double title success 26 Sep 2005
Fernando Alonso is the fourth driver to win the Formula One drivers championship on Michelin tyres, and with either McLaren are Renault set for constructors honours, the French tyre company are now guaranteed to do the double in 2005.
It is the first championship success for Michelin since their return to Formula One racing in 2001 and follows a season of dominance with their seven partner teams. Between them they have won 16 of the 17 races so far, taken 16 pole positions and scored 543 of an available 663 points.
"We offer our congratulations to Fernando Alonso and the whole of Flavio Briatore's Renault team, said Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director. When it returned to the sport in 2002, team president Patrick Faure said he hoped to be challenging for the world title by 2005 and Renault has done rather more than that. I'm very happy that Michelin has helped the team fulfil its ambitions.
"Fernando and arch-rival Kimi Raikkonen have driven impeccably all season and the title has been settled over 17 races, rather than just today, but we can be proud of a magnificent effort by all our partners during this year's F1 campaign. Michelin's tyres have had the upper hand all season and we will spare no effort to maintain our dominance during the final two races."
Nick Shorrock, director of Michelin Formula One activities, added: "Today marks the culmination of a magnificent success for Fernando Alonso and everybody associated with Flavio Briatore's Renault team. It is a fitting tribute, too, to all those who have contributed to Michelin's world title effort, both here at the circuit and in our offices and workshops at Clermont- Ferrand.
Despite their 2005 success, Michelin will actually be supplying fewer teams next year and have even threatened to pull out of the sport altogether if it decides to move to a single tyre supplier in the future. Williams will switch to Bridgestone tyres in 2006, with Toyota expected to do the same.