Belgian GP: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone takes to the hills of the Ardennes with the hard and soft Potenza tyres for the thirteenth round of the season, the Belgian Grand Prix on August 27-29. The challenging 7.004 km rollercoaster that is the Spa Francorchamps circuit ...

Bridgestone takes to the hills of the Ardennes with the hard and soft Potenza tyres for the thirteenth round of the season, the Belgian Grand Prix on August 27-29.

The challenging 7.004 km rollercoaster that is the Spa Francorchamps circuit presents cars and drivers with a severe test. It's the longest race lap of the season, and Bridgestone's tyres will be put through extreme forces over the course of a lap.

Hiroshi Yasukawa - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport, says:
"Bridgestone has its European base in Brussels which is the headquarters of Bridgestone Europe and other group companies. Bridgestone Europe employs more than 13000 people throughout Europe, spread between eight tyre plants, one technical centre/proving ground and different national sales organisations. There are over 1000 employees of Bridgestone in Belgium itself. This will therefore be an emotional final Formula 1 Grand Prix for Bridgestone at Spa. Before we entered Formula 1 in 1997 the Bridgestone brand was not so well known, but now we have achieved many great things all across Europe, all supported by Bridgestone Europe."

Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, says:
"Spa Francorchamps is a circuit with many secrets. It is the longest circuit of the season, and there are many different characteristics to it. Tyres are put under big loads here, and the circuit is too punishing for the use of our super soft tyre. Eau Rouge and sector two are particularly punishing. Despite the high speeds we see, the requirements of a lap mean that relatively high downforce configurations are used on the cars, placing the tyres under even higher loads. The change from downhill to uphill through Eau Rouge puts the tyres under severe compression forces at high speed added to the downforce and inertia loads, so tyre pressures need to be carefully determined and monitored. The weather is often a factor, especially as you can see track temperatures ranging from 10C to 40C. Rain can come very quickly here because of the forest location, so this is another factor to consider. Spa seldom gives us a dull race, and I hope we will have an enjoyable final visit here."

-source: bridgestone

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Hiroshi Yasukawa