Bridgestone Motorsport announce tyre specifications
Bridgestone, the Official Tyre Supplier to the FIA Formula One World Championship, is pleased to announce the compound allocations of Potenza tyres for the first five rounds of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship.
This season sees slick tyres make a return to Formula One after eleven seasons of grooved dry tyres. Slick tyres mean that softer rubber compounds can be used, meaning more mechanical grip is available for competitors. This change is significant for teams and drivers and is accompanied by considerable changes to the car aerodynamic packages, designed to reduce downforce and stimulate overtaking.
There is a change in tyre allocation rationale too. For the past two seasons, Bridgestone has brought two consecutive compounds from its range of four rubber compounds to each event. For 2009, non- consecutive allocations will occur at most races. As well as a difference in compound stiffness, there will be a variation in temperature working range between the two allocated compounds at an event.
The compounds themselves are new, because of the different requirements of slick tyres compared with grooved tyres, however they will retain the same names of hard, medium, soft and super soft. There are no changes to the wet and extreme weather tyres, which will be brought to all events in case of adverse weather.
The method of distinguishing between the two compounds on event will be through means of green bands painted on the edges of the tyre sidewalls of the softer tyres at a race. This marking allows the compounds to be visually distinguishable by fans at the circuit and those watching on television. The green colour has been chosen to show Bridgestone's continued support of the FIA's Make Cars Green campaign.
Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, says:
"2009 looks like it should be a very exciting season with very big changes to the cars. From our perspective we have changed our allocation strategy so that we can bring non-consecutive allocations to races. The compounds will not only vary in terms of compound hardness, but also working range. We have tried to have one tyre which has a quick warm-up and delivers a fast lap time immediately, and the other tyre which has a higher working range, so will not deliver immediate fast times, but gives very consistent and durable performance when it is at its operating temperature. Of course, we are subject to many variables such as different cars and drivers, not to mention the weather, which was such a big factor in 2008. We hope that the change in allocations gives competitors a good challenge and the fans entertaining racing. We are also proud to support the FIA's Make Cars Green campaign through our tyre markings."