SAN MARINO (April 16, 2001)— German driver Ralf Schumacher drove his Williams-BMW to victory Sunday at the San Marino Grand Prix, marking his first victory in a Formula 1 race, Williams´ first win since 1997 and Michelin´s first win in only its fourth F1 race in the company´s first season of competition after a 16-year absence from the global racing series.
Michelin returned to the F1 arena this year at the urging of several of its original equipment customers. Michelin equips four of the 11 two-car teams participating in the 17-race series. Bridgestone Corp., the tire supplier for the 1999 and 2000 series champions, supplies the remaining seven teams, including the defending champions Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, Ralf Schumacher's elder brother.
"Everyone at Michelin is overjoyed by today´s result," said Pierre Dupasquier, motorsport director at Michelin. "It is a great reward for all the hard work the whole team has put in during the past few months. Potentially, we had a lot to lose at the start of the year."