San Marino GP: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone aims to keep up the momentum in Europe Bridgestone Motorsport will be attacking the European season with renewed vigour this week. Not only are new tyre specifications being sent to the San Marino Grand Prix but they will ...

Bridgestone aims to keep up the momentum in Europe

Bridgestone Motorsport will be attacking the European season with renewed vigour this week. Not only are new tyre specifications being sent to the San Marino Grand Prix but they will be transported by a new replacement fleet of Mercedes Benz Actros 1844 units. The new Actros units will spend their lives hauling Bridgestone Motorsport's motorhome and tyre transporter trailers around the European continent.

The return to Europe means a step up in gear for the F1 teams and for Bridgestone, six times supplier of tyres to World Championship winning teams, this is no different. Ever ready for a challenge, however, and with three wins for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro under its belt, the Bridgestone Motorsport team is eager to get to Italy for the start of the European season.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:

"Bridgestone Motorsport has had an excellent start to 2004 and our technical department is busy continuing its good work to make sure we stay at the top of our game. Once again, our teams have committed what resources they can to our tyre test programme and Ferrari in particular has worked hard to develop a car which works in harmony with Bridgestone's Potenza Formula One tyres. We have achieved great results by working closely with our teams."

"Imola is an excellent race with which to start the European season, especially as Bridgestone equips two Italian teams: Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and Wilux Minardi Cosworth. We should have plenty of support and the atmosphere in Italy is always fun and enthusiastic. We expect it to provide the perfect backdrop for a fantastic race a race that Bridgestone and Ferrari have won for the past two consecutive years."

2004 Tyres for San Marino
Bridgestone Motorsport has sent approximately 1,400 tyres to the "Enzo e Dino Ferrari" circuit in preparation for the 2004 San Marino Grand Prix. These comprise of six dry weather tyre specifications, one wet weather and one extreme weather specification. The 4.933km Italian circuit is a mid-speed track with a smooth surface requiring Bridgestone's Potenza Formula One tyres to use mid-soft range compounds. The return to Europe in April also means that Bridgestone needs to be prepared for a wide range of possible weather conditions.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager:

"After three race wins it is important that we keep up the momentum. We have had a busy test programme over the past few weeks and although rain was a factor enabling continued research into our next generation of wet weather tyres, we did gather some useful dry tyre data for both the Imola and Barcelona races. Michael Schumacher completed an incredible 150 laps last Thursday, 100 of which were run before the lunch break. Jordan Ford meanwhile benefited from their Silverstone test, building up their basic understanding of our tyres and assessing their tyre requirements for the forthcoming Barcelona round."

"Concentrating, however, on the San Marino GP, we have thought carefully about the track's nature which includes several chicanes and directional changes. Traction performance exiting the slower corners will be important. Six specifications of dry tyre will be at the smooth surfaced track incorporating several new compounds which have been introduced in line with our policy of constant development. With regards to pitstops, I expect most teams will opt for a three stop strategy. All in all, a productive few weeks and we will be at Imola in confident mood we are looking competitive."

-bridgestone-

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