Bridgestone: medium and hard tyres for 2008 British GP

Mon, 30 June 2008, 09:11

Following the Magny Cours race in France, the F1 circus heads to the United Kingdom for the ninth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship where Bridgestone’s hard and medium Potenza tyres will tackle the tough turns of the Silverstone circuit. The British Grand Prix marks the half way point in the season and only ten points separate the top four drivers. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa currently leads the standings, with BMW’s Robert Kubica, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton all in hot pursuit. Each one of these drivers has been at the top of the standings at some point in the season so far, illustrating the close battle with all drivers using Bridgestone tyres as the Official Tyre Supplier to the FIA Formula One World Championship.

This will be the 59th running of the British Grand Prix, and the 42nd time the event has taken place at the Silverstone track. The circuit is one of the oldest on the calendar and it is characterised by its high-speed layout. Although most of the track is high-speed, there is a slower complex before the main straight, which is a breeding ground for tyre graining.

Last year Kimi Raikkonen used a medium/medium/hard tyre strategy to win the British Grand Prix by 2.4 seconds from team-mate Felipe Massa. Lewis Hamilton finished third.

Hirohide Hamashima: “Silverstone is one of the more harsh circuits on the calendar, which is why we bring the hardest compound Potenza tyres from our range. It is a tough circuit for tyres in the sense of the layout and the track surface, which is one of the more abrasive we use. Graining is always a consideration when coming into the final complex, and tyre management of this is an important aspect to getting a good result. Drivers require good stability from their tyres to give them confidence through the high-speed turns. Good heat and wear resistance are also desirable here.”

Q: What has been learnt from the latest test in Silverstone? Hirohide Hamashima: “The medium compound enabled a faster lap time over one lap, and if conditions are similar for the Grand Prix we would expect this to be the preferred tyre for qualifying. The hard compound enabled more consistent performance. However, if teams and drivers are able to manage the graining, the medium compound could be the preferred option in the race. As teams have now tested here so close to the Grand Prix weekend, we should see very close lap times as competitors have a good opportunity to find a good setup and maximise their cars to Silverstone’s requirements.”

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