Spanish GP: Bridgestone preview

No let-up in testing with new spec for Spain Bridgestone reaped the rewards of a decision to test at Imola prior to the San Marino Grand Prix ten days ago with two cars on the podium and a promising performance from the wet weather tyres on ...

No let-up in testing with new spec for Spain

Bridgestone reaped the rewards of a decision to test at Imola prior to the San Marino Grand Prix ten days ago with two cars on the podium and a promising performance from the wet weather tyres on Friday. It is hoped the preparation work done for the Spanish Grand Prix produces a similar result as the company arrives in Barcelona.

Last week, Bridgestone teams tested the candidates for this weekend's race, both at Mugello with Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and in unusually dry and sunny conditions at Silverstone with its three UK-based teams - DHL Jordan Honda, Lucky Strike BAR Honda and OrangeArrows - and Sauber Petronas.

After Michael Schumacher won the last two races on Bridgestone tyres, the company is keen to make it three wins in a row at the Circuit de Catalunya, near Barcelona. The circuit has undergone a massive transformation since last year's grand prix. The main grandstand overlooking the pit straight has doubled in size, while other grandstands have been extended or been made permanent fixtures. The development has increased the circuit's capacity by more than 13,000 seats.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:

"It was very gratifying to see two of our cars on the podium at Imola, particularly since our president Shigeo Watanabe attended the race. I was also very encouraged by our performance in the rain on Friday. A Bridgestone car did not win the San Marino Grand Prix in 2001 which is why we decided to test there earlier this year. We always say we will learn lessons from past performance and I think the result at Imola proved we had done. We look forward to continuing our winning streak at Barcelona."

The 2002 Tyres

Of the two dry tyre specifications for the Spanish Grand Prix, one is new while the other was taken to a previous race this season and has been tested at the Barcelona track. Bridgestone will have 1,600 tyres in Spain.

Hisao Suganuma, technical manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:

"Although there is not an enormous difference between the two specifications we will have at Barcelona, they each have different advantages depending on the conditions we encounter there. The tyre that has been tested previously at the Circuit de Catalunya showed good consistency while the other spec also seems to be consistent but with extra stability. Which ever is chosen may be dictated by the temperatures at the weekend, but I am confident that whether it is hot or cool we will be competitive."

The Track

The Circuit de Catalunya is considered to be one of the most demanding tracks on the calendar which is why it is such a popular circuit for testing. Tyres, in particular, undergo greater stresses than at other circuits.

Hisao Suganuma added: "The two main features that make Barcelona difficult are the long, high-speed corners that put a lot of load through the tyres, and the abrasive surface which leads to quite a high wear rate. Fairly consistent high speeds add to the chance of tyre degradation. A tyre that is strong both in terms of compound and construction is required to cope with the kind of stresses we can expect."

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