Canadian GP: Bridgestone preview

Formula One heads to the fabulous city of Montreal in Canada for the seventh round of the FIA Formula One World Championship where Bridgestone's soft and super soft compound Potenza tyres will be put through their paces on the temporary street ...

Formula One heads to the fabulous city of Montreal in Canada for the seventh round of the FIA Formula One World Championship where Bridgestone's soft and super soft compound Potenza tyres will be put through their paces on the temporary street course located on the Isle Notre Dame.

This will be the 39th running of the Canadian Grand Prix, and the 30th time the event has taken place on the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve on the Isle Notre Dame, an artificial island created for the Expo 67, and used for the 1976 Summer Olympics.

As the roads that make up the course are seldom used for racing activities during the rest of the year, the track surface usually starts the weekend with very low levels of grip. As the circuit gets cleaned and rubber laid, so grip levels improve, and lap times get quicker.

The circuit layout features high speed sections, a significant straight, and numerous heavy braking areas over its 4.36km. The weather in Montreal can vary from being one of the hotter grands prix of the year, to one of the cooler. However, the tyres themselves will experience high heat levels no matter what the ambient temperature, due to the combination of heavy braking, and demands on traction out of the many low speed turns.

Last year Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) won the Canadian Grand Prix, taking his first ever Formula One victory. He used a soft - soft - super soft tyre strategy for his win in the incident-filled race.

Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development, said: What are the challenges of Montreal?

"The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is certainly a challenging circuit for us. Not many races take place here and the surface is very slippery, so just like Monaco we need to bring the softest compounds in our range, soft and super soft. In contrast to Monaco, the speeds are very high in parts of the Montreal track, and very heavy braking takes place, meaning a lot of heat is generated and is transferred through the tyres. Durability from the tyres and good tyre management from the drivers are important considerations in Canada."

Do you expect strong performance from the new Super Soft compound in Montreal?

"We are still at an early stage of learning about the modified super soft compound. In Monaco we did not see a lot of running with this tyre because of the weather, and when it did run it was on a green track. There is still a lot to learn about this compound and it should be interesting for teams and drivers when we get to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, however we are confident in our predictions and the modifications we have made from the compound we had last season"

Stats & Facts
Number & Spec of tyres brought to Montreal: 2,200 (wet/extreme wets and soft & super soft dry)
Pole position time 2007: 1min 15.707 (Hamilton)
Fastest race lap 2007: 1min 16.367 (Alonso)
Top three 2007: Hamilton, Heidfeld, Wurz

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Gilles Villeneuve
Teams Mercedes , McLaren