Langley, 4th June 2001 Round 8 - Canadian Grand Prix Bridgestone prepares for punishing stop-go Montreal Bridgestone is taking tyres designed to smooth the way through one of the most hair-raising rounds the F1 world championship to this ...
Langley, 4th June 2001
Round 8 - Canadian Grand Prix
Bridgestone prepares for punishing stop-go Montreal
Bridgestone is taking tyres designed to smooth the way through one of the most hair-raising rounds the F1 world championship to this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.
From the demanding streets of Monaco, F1 moves to the bone-breaking, car-shaking Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. It is one of the most punishing tracks in the calendar on brakes, gearboxes and engines - but the right tyres can help lessen the impact of the dramatic changes in speed.
Set on an island in the St Lawrence River with downtown Montreal as a backdrop, the circuit is made up of long, fast straights, medium-speed chicanes and a couple of slow hairpins. The cars are continually accelerating then braking hard, making it something of a stop-and-go circuit.
As little racing takes place prior to the Grand Prix, the track is notoriously dirty with dust and leaves on Friday and grip generally is quite low. However, downforce is also low to help the cars make the most of the fast straights. Qualifying at the front of the grid is vital to avoid getting tangled up in the rush to the very tight first corner.
The two dry compounds - a harder and slightly softer - Bridgestone is taking have been raced already this year, while the constructions are expected to give the cars' increased stability at the Canadian track. If it rains in Montreal, Bridgestone's teams will have the choice of harder and softer compound wet weather tyres.
The Canada tyres were tried out by five of Bridgestone's six teams during a hectic test at Magny-Cours in France last week. The teams also tested tyres for the European and French Grands Prix.
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager at Bridgestone Motorsport, said: "The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a track of contrasts. For example, the cars come onto the long, main straight from the 40mph Pits Hairpin and reach speeds of 200mph, then have to brake right down to 70mph for turn one. The aim is to provide compounds that grip well through the corners but also give speed on the straights. With such hard braking, the cars' and tyres' performance under braking will be a crucial issue. In fact, Montreal is probably the hardest track for braking. From a tyre point of view, the tyres should support the car correctly under braking, maintaining stability as it slows and then through the corner. The constructions we have for Canada are designed to do that. Wear should be good enough for a one-stop strategy.
"We managed to fit in an awful lot of work with five of our teams during three days at Magny-Cours and the results from that test will help us select the tyres for France and Nurburgring. We hope to confirm those results at the Silverstone test following Canada. Red Bull Sauber Petronas tested at Monza, which is a similar high-speed track to Montreal, and gave us some good feedback for Canada."