Bridgestone 1999 Tyres Tests at Suzuka

F1 TEAMS TO TEST WITH BRIDGESTONE AT SUZUKA Following the announcement by the FIA World Council (October 15) of revised Formula 1 tyre rules for 1998, Bridgestone will be offering all F1 teams the opportunity to evaluate tyres complying with...

F1 TEAMS TO TEST WITH BRIDGESTONE AT SUZUKA

Following the announcement by the FIA World Council (October 15) of revised Formula 1 tyre rules for 1998, Bridgestone will be offering all F1 teams the opportunity to evaluate tyres complying with the new regulations. The first tests will take place at the Suzuka circuit, starting on the Tuesday November 3, two days after the Japanese round of the 1998 world championship at Suzuka.

Announcing the test, Mr. Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Bridgestone Motorsport, said: "We welcome this initiative, which has been arranged in cooperation with the FIA. Together with all the teams taking part in next year's championship, we will be seeking as much information as possible on the performance and wear rate to be expected with the new equipment, which has yet to be tested on a circuit."

The FIA is seeking a small reduction in lap speeds for 1999, an aim which Bridgestone is committed to support. "We have been collaborating with the federation on the revisions to the tyres since mid-summer, " said Mr. Yasukawa, "and following the withdrawal of Goodyear from F1 racing we decided that everyone's best interests would be served by being able to test our products as soon as possible after the racing season was complete.

Next year's rules, confirmed yesterday, require the addition of a fourth groove to the front tyres, together with a reduction (from 40 to 32) of the number of dry-weather tyres permitted to each competing car for the weekend of a race. There will also be a limitation in the width of the front tread that must not exceed 270mm.

"We will introduce revised compounds and constructions. The intention of this is to meet the requirements of the FIA and to ensure that the performance of our tyres remains consistent throughout next year, "Mr. Yasukawa concluded. "However, our priority, as always, must be to ensure the highest possible standards of safety. We believe that this can best be achieved by supplying every team with Bridgestone tyres for testing next month, and in cooperation with them all on an equal basis in an exhaustive development programme."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Hiroshi Yasukawa