Brazilian GP: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone looking for advances in Brazil After intensive competition at the first two rounds of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in Australia and Malaysia, Bridgestone's engineers barely had time to unpack before heading off this week for...

Bridgestone looking for advances in Brazil

After intensive competition at the first two rounds of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in Australia and Malaysia, Bridgestone's engineers barely had time to unpack before heading off this week for four days of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya. Three of Bridgestone's teams - Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, Sauber Petronas and Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda - tested at the Barcelona circuit enabling Bridgestone to not only finalise its tyre specifications for Brazil but also to conduct valuable testing for the Spanish Grand Prix in approximately one month's time as well as further long-term development studies.

Although several Bridgestone-equipped drivers have scored points already this season and Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello put Bridgestone on the podium in Malaysia, the Japanese company is looking for improved results next weekend.

Due to recent events in the Middle East, Bridgestone has also taken the unusual step of sending an advance consignment of approximately 500 "back- up" tyres to Brazil. These tyres, which are in addition to the usual 1,100 latest development race tyres sent directly from Japan, have been sent by air from the UK base in Langley. Their purpose is to ensure that Bridgestone's teams have tyres in the unlikely event of disruption to the company's regular air freight routes.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:

"Admittedly the first two grands prix of the season have not been as rewarding as hoped but that has only served to spur us on. It seems we have some true competition this year and I look forward with great anticipation to the Brazilian round. Michael [Schumacher] won on Bridgestone tyres in Brazil last year and we are quietly confident that our tyres will give our teams the performance they need to put them on the podium next weekend. We are aiming for maximum points. Regarding the transportation of an advance batch of tyres, this is a precautionary measure only and we do not anticipate any problems at this stage."

2003 Tyres for Interlagos
The 4.309km Interlagos circuit is the first anti-clockwise circuit of the calendar and presents drivers with a number of slow to medium speed left-hand corners. The circuit's undulating nature also means that drivers require good grip and high durability and consistency from their tyres. Of the 1,100 latest development race tyres due to arrive in Sao Paulo next week, these include a number of different specifications, some of which have been seen before this season.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager:

"The nature of the Brazilian circuit and the slightly more abrasive track surface compared to say, Malaysia, is such that we need to make sure that our tyres perform consistently - especially the rear tyres. Whilst the range of the tyres for the first three races is roughly the same i.e. mid to soft, we have made minor adjustments to the compound of some of our tyres to suit the Interlagos circuit. We have been working hard evaluating the slightly disappointing results of the past few weeks and we're confident that our tyres will be competitive next weekend. Our teams should also see further improvements over the coming weeks."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Rubens Barrichello , Hiroshi Yasukawa
Teams Ferrari , Sauber