Bridgestone Australia Preview, Tyre Specs

February 26, 1998 1999 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX - PREVIEW It will be an historic occasion for Bridgestone at 2pm (local time) in Melbourne on Sunday when the lights go out to signal the start of the opening Grand Prix of the 1999 FIA World ...

February 26, 1998 1999 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX - PREVIEW

It will be an historic occasion for Bridgestone at 2pm (local time) in Melbourne on Sunday when the lights go out to signal the start of the opening Grand Prix of the 1999 FIA World Championship season.

"Sunday's race in Australia will be the first Grand Prix for which our company will supply all the tyres," says Yoshihiko Ichikawa, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport, "and we look forward to the challenge of working with new drivers and technicians. We believe that we can meet the demands of the teams while at the same time satisfying the requirements of the FIA to reign in the cornering performance of the cars."

A total of 2640 Bridgestone tyres, in wet and dry weather formats, will be available to the 11 teams contesting the 58-lap race. All conform with the FIA requirement of four grooves. The drivers will have a choice of dry-weather tyres in two compounds, while for the first time since Bridgestone entered F1 competition in 1997 there will also be only two "wets," supplied in an identical pattern but with different compounds.

Every F1 team has already had an opportunity to evaluate the dry-weather "Melbourne" Bridgestone's in winter testing, either in Europe or South Africa. This should ease the task of adapting to the requirements of the Australian track.

"Last year the average speed at the Albert Park circuit was just over 200 km/h," says Ichikawa. "There are some high speed sections and several difficult corners, but the most significant characteristic of the track is its smooth surface. The challenge for the teams will be to find a setup which prevents the tyres from overheating, although their final choices of compound will also take into account their pit stop strategies."

Bridgestone Australia: Motorsport success Bridgestone's considerable success in motorsport includes winning the Australian Championship for V8 Supercars from 1996 to 1998, the 1.000-kilometre race at Bathurst, New South Wales, in 1996 and 1998, and Group N victories over many years in the Rally Australia, a round of the World Rally Championship. This year Bridgestone has been awarded the contract for supplying a control tyre for V8 Supercars.

Based in Adelaide, South Australia, the publicly-listed Bridgestone Australia Ltd Group of Companies is a major supplier to the Australian automotive industry. Bridgestone's tyre-manufacturing plant at Salisbury, in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, was opened in 1985 and currently serves all four Australian car manufacturers: Holden, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Ford; most of whose cars are supplied fitted with Bridgestone tyres.

1999 FORMULA ONE TYRES 1)Tyre dimensions as per regulations Max. complete front wheel width: 355mm Max. complete rear wheel width: 380mm (-1.0mm) Max. complete wheel diameter: 660mm (-0.4mm) Min. complete front wheel width: 305mm Min. complete rear wheel width: 365mm Wheel bead diameter: 330mm(+/- 2.5mm) Max. front tyre tread width: 270mm Max. rear tyre tread width: no restriction

2)Dry weather tyres as per regulations All dry weather tyres must incorporate circumferential grooves square to the wheel axis and around the entire circumference of the contact surface of each tyre.

Front and rear tyres No. of grooves: 4 arranged symmetrically about centre of the tyre tread Distance between centres: 50mm (+/- 1.0mm) Depth of each groove: at least 2.5mm Width of each groove: minimum 14mm on the surface minimum 10mm in the bottom

3)Wet weather tyres as per regulations Front and rear tyre depth: over 2.5mm Front tyre contact area: max. 300cm X 2(when fitted to the car) Front tyre measuring sq. section: 200mm X 200mm Rear contact area: 475cm X 2(when fitted to the car) Rear tyre measuring sq. section: 250mm X 250mm *Front tyres proportion of grooves: over 25% *Rear tyres proportion of grooves: over 24% *Contact area / measuring square section.

4)Technical characteristics Approx. pressure used: 20psi Blanket temperature: approx. 80 degrees C. Max. durability: max. +/- 300 km depending on the compound Rough materials: Sulphur, rubber, carbon, chemical products, wire and coating Construction: Basically carcass, bead rings and tread rubber

5)Tyre allocation as per regulations Dry weather tyre: 32 tyres per car per Grand Prix weekend Wet weather tyre: 28 tyres per car per Grand Prix weekend

6)Specifications per GP as per regulations Dry weather tyre: Max. two different specs per Grand Prix Wet weather tyre: Max. three different specs per Grand Prix

7) Bridgestone dry tyre dimensions Front tyre nominal size: 265/55R13 Front diameter: 655mm Front width: 335mm Rear normal size: 325/45R13 Rear diameter: 655mm Rear width: 375mm

8) Bridgestone wet tyre dimensions Front tyre nominal size: 245/55R13 Front diameter: 655mm Front width: 325mm Rear normal size: 325/45R13 Rear diameter: 655mm Rear width: 375mm

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Series Formula 1