Chinese GP: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone aims to finish on a high Bridgestone Motorsport arrives at the final round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the China Grand Prix in Shanghai, determined to impress this weekend. Each of its teams has a point to prove: ...

Bridgestone aims to finish on a high

Bridgestone Motorsport arrives at the final round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the China Grand Prix in Shanghai, determined to impress this weekend.

Each of its teams has a point to prove: Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro secured third place in the Constructors' Championship at the previous round in Japan but Michael Schumacher still has a battle on his hands for third place in the Drivers' Championship.

For Rubens Barrichello, Shanghai marks the end of a hugely successful era as the Brazilian soon leaves the Scuderia. And for the Jordan Grand Prix and Minardi F1 teams, Shanghai signifies the final time they will run under their current names.

China is also an extremely important market for Bridgestone with considerable investment, such as the new Proving Ground in Yixing, being planned to help meet the demands of the industry.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:

"The Chinese Grand Prix marks the end of what has been a fantastically exciting but challenging season. For Bridgestone and its teams 2005 has been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride and although we have been unable to react as strongly as we had hoped, I believe we have come through this year with a determination which will motivate us strongly through the coming winter period."

"However, we still have one more important race yet at Shanghai's very impressive circuit. Our technical team has continued to push forward with developments in recent weeks and I look forward to seeing our teams finish the season on a high note."

Tyres for Shanghai (5.451 km)

Bridgestone Motorsport's Formula One Potenza tyres have been flown directly from Bridgestone's F1 production facility in Tokyo to the Shanghai circuit for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix. Bridgestone has a total of four dry weather specifications for its three teams and the same wet weather and extreme wet weather specification for all Bridgestone teams.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager:

"Shanghai is a great place to finish the season. It is a technically challenging circuit while providing a great backdrop for the season finale. The track itself has a very smooth surface, which, combined with the long straights, results in cars reaching very high speeds."

"Shanghai also has several slow speed corners so from a tyre point of view drivers will be looking for good grip to cope with the smooth surface and grip to provide traction out of the corners. To meet these requirements we have provided tyres from the medium to soft compound range and with good durable construction qualities."

"Shanghai's unique characteristics and track layout may result in some graining and subsequent understeer so once the track conditions have stabilised, the teams will need to set up the cars to cure the understeer so that they can achieve a competitive lap time."

"We have brought a combination of previously raced specs and some un-raced specs here this weekend which were developed at the Paul Ricard test approximately two weeks ago and we are looking forward to seeing all our teams have a competitive final race of the season."

Bridgestone in China

Bridgestone's commitment to investment in China was recently confirmed with the announcement that it has received approval to establish a new proving ground in China. The planned location for the new facility is Yixing, Jiangsu Province."

"Bridgestone aims to use the testing and research facility to develop a system which enables the swift provision of tyres for original equipment and replacement in the Chinese market. Covering roughly 84 hectares, the new proving ground boasts a 900m straight track for high-speed performance tests and a curved track for handling and stability tests."

"Plans are in place to open the facility in June 2007. It will be capitalized with US$20 million, while a total of US$25 million has been earmarked for investment in the project. This will be Bridgestone's eleventh proving ground worldwide.

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Hiroshi Yasukawa
Teams Ferrari , Minardi , Jordan