Italian GP: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone aims to keep up momentum in Monza Bridgestone Motorsport heads to one of the most famous race courses in the world this week - Monza for round fifteen of the FIA Formula One World Championship. The Italian Grand Prix comes at a...

Bridgestone aims to keep up momentum in Monza

Bridgestone Motorsport heads to one of the most famous race courses in the world this week - Monza for round fifteen of the FIA Formula One World Championship. The Italian Grand Prix comes at a crucial point in the championship with Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro just two points behind Renault and Michael Schumacher looking to close the 12 point gap to current leader Fernando Alonso. Bridgestone's remaining teams: Panasonic Toyota Racing, WilliamsF1, MF1 Racing and Super Aguri F1; are also looking to bag some points this weekend.

All five Bridgestone teams spent three days at the Monza circuit last week, conducting car and Bridgestone tyre tests. Tyre testing for Monza is particularly important due to the track's high speed nature and it enabled Bridgestone to assess approximately 20 specifications of tyre on the 5.793km circuit, much of which has been resurfaced since last year's race.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:

"The Italian Grand Prix at Monza is really very special. It is a home race for both Ferrari and Jarno Trulli and the supporters come out in their thousands to support the teams and watch the action. This is a very important time in the championship and our technical personnel have been working as hard as possible with our teams to make sure they have the right tyres for this weekend."

"However, we must not forget that this weekend also marks the big finale for the GP2 Series. Lewis Hamilton and Nelson Piquet Jnr will be battling for championship honours and I know we are going to be treated to the same fantastic racing this weekend which we have enjoyed watching all season. Best of luck to them both!"

Tyres for Monza -- 5.793km

The 2006 tyre regulations permit each driver seven sets of dry tyres, four sets of wet weather tyres and three sets of extreme wet weather tyres. Combined with the increased number of teams running with Bridgestone in 2006, approximately 1,200 Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tyres have been sent from the Technical Centre in Kodaira City, Tokyo, to the Monza circuit in Italy.

Hisao Suganuma, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager:

"Monza is renowned for being a very high speed circuit and although top speeds are slightly down this year because of the V8 engines, we found in testing that the cars were still reaching 330kph in at least three places. This is something that a tyre manufacturer has to consider very carefully when choosing its tyres because the high speeds result in considerable heat generation within them and consequently tyre degradation can be a factor."

"Furthermore, the tyres become highly stressed because of the continuous high speed running, which generates large centrifugal forces on the tyres, so construction durability isalso very important. On the other hand, a large section of the track has been resurfaced since our last test in June and the feedback from the drivers has been that this new tarmac is quite smooth and is giving more grip in comparison to the older tarmac."

"We certainly noticed a reduction in tyre graining compared to June's test particularly on a green track and on the whole, the Bridgestone shod drivers had a very productive test last week, setting times which indicate that this weekend could be a very competitive one. Following this most recent test, it was decided that the Bridgestone teams will be using current specification tyres with compounds from our mid to soft range."

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Michael Schumacher , Fernando Alonso , Lewis Hamilton , Nelson Piquet , Hiroshi Yasukawa
Teams Ferrari , Williams , Toyota Racing , Super Aguri F1