Spanish GP: Bridgestone preview

High hopes for Bridgestone in Spain Round five of the FIA Formula One World Championship takes place at the Circuit de Catalunya this weekend (2-4 May) and the Bridgestone Motorsport team is expecting to build on its Imola results when Scuderia...

High hopes for Bridgestone in Spain

Round five of the FIA Formula One World Championship takes place at the Circuit de Catalunya this weekend (2-4 May) and the Bridgestone Motorsport team is expecting to build on its Imola results when Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello took hard fought 1st and 3rd place podiums.

Since then, Bridgestone has been testing with most of its teams in order to keep the pressure on its rivals. Ferrari, Sauber Petronas and the Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda team were all testing at Mugello, Italy - a circuit known for its similar characteristics to the Barcelona circuit - in order to finalise their tyre choices for Spain. Jordan Ford meanwhile concentrated its testing efforts at Britain's Silverstone circuit.

Making its race debut this weekend on Bridgestone Potenza tyres is the Scuderia's latest challenger, the F2003-GA. Named after the late Gianni Agnelli, the F2003-GA features revised front and rear suspension elements to maximise the performance of the Bridgestone tyres and to improve the efficiency of the Ferrari's aerodynamic package.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:

"The San Marino Grand Prix was a tough weekend but we had some excellent results under difficult circumstances and I expect now to see a change in fortunes for all the Bridgestone teams. Barcelona can be an unforgiving circuit and consequently we have put a great deal of effort into testing there but I hope to have good cause for celebration this Sunday. I am also looking forward to seeing Ferrari's F2003-GA run in anger this weekend - we have high expectations."

2003 Tyres for Barcelona

The 4.730km (2.939 mile) Circuit de Catalunya is one of the more demanding circuits on the F1 calendar with the Spanish circuit's abrasive surface traditionally proving tough on tyres. Bridgestone's tyre choices for the coming weekend will consequently be from the mid to hard range. High loads and several high speed corners combined with the undulating nature of the track also mean teams will experience high fuel effects. Approximately 1,100 Bridgestone tyres will be at the Barcelona circuit.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager:

"I am very pleased with the way our test programme has been developing. As predicted, the number of specifications taken to a race is gradually reducing and we will have seven specifications this weekend as opposed to nine in San Marino. Although not an easy circuit, we have done quite well at Barcelona in previous years and I think our advantage over our rivals in terms of tyre performance and durability on circuits that traditionally cause graining, is a major factor."

"The coming weekend also sees the arrival of the new Ferrari, which I am particularly excited about. Its predecessor was an excellent race car but the F2003-GA seems to perfectly suit our current tyre specifications - with its improved suspension it goes like the wind!"

-bridgestone-

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