Speed versus stability in Montreal Monaco may be recognised as the glamour grand prix of the season, but Montreal is a worthy follow-up as the next round in the Formula 1 world championship. The French Canadian city is a popular destination,...
Speed versus stability in Montreal
Monaco may be recognised as the glamour grand prix of the season, but Montreal is a worthy follow-up as the next round in the Formula 1 world championship. The French Canadian city is a popular destination, being a compact and attractive city that is easy to get around and with a good choice of apres-track entertainment. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, set on an island in the St Lawrence river, is equally inviting and always produces a tough and exciting race. It is one of the most punishing tracks on the calendar on brakes, gearboxes and engines but tyres can play an important role in lessening the impact of the dramatic changes in speed and the car-shaking nature of the circuit.
All Bridgestone's teams tested at Silverstone this week in readiness for the Canadian and British grands prix. In addition, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro worked on tyre testing at Monza, Italy while Lucky Strike BAR Honda also ran a car at Paul Ricard in France.
Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:
"Monaco produced another exciting grand prix a week ago and while one of our cars did not win the race, our tyre performance on Sunday was very strong and consistent. Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro was able to increase its lead in the championship even further and both DHL Jordan Honda and OrangeArrows scored more points. As we approach the mid-point of the season, it is more important than ever that we re-double our efforts to help all our teams."
The 2002 Tyres
Bridgestone is taking one new specification to Montreal and one that has been raced already this year. Both are from the softer end of the range. Wet tyre choice will include one intermediate and two normal wet specifications.
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:
"To find the grip required for the smooth surface of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve we need a relatively soft compound. However, last year our compound was a little too soft for the race. We have learned lessons from that and while the compounds this year are still softer, the specifications should be better able to cope with the characteristics of the Montreal track. We have also taken into account the weather conditions - it was hot last year but has been quite cool in the past so we have chosen our specifications carefully."
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a stop-go track where the cars are continually accelerating then braking hard through the combination of fast straights, medium-speed chicanes and slow hairpins. Its lack of use during the year means it is notoriously dirty and lacking in grip, especially on Friday.
Hisao Suganuma added: "Montreal is really a circuit of contrasts, with slow corners followed by long, fast straights where speeds are as high as 330km/h; the average speed, meanwhile, is around 220km/h. Consequently, the drivers need grip and stability through the corners but speed on the straights. The high speeds and hard braking are demanding on tyres in terms of heat durability, especially when the surface demands a softer compound, so it is quite a challenge to find the right specfication. Like Monaco, qualifying well is important to stay out of trouble through the tight first corner and I am confident our tyres will peform well this weekend, both in qualifying and the race."