Spanish GP: Bridgestone preview

The FIA Formula One World Championship moves on to the fourth round of the 2007 season this week for the Gran Premio de Espana Telefonica, where Bridgestone Potenzas will grace all 22 cars on the grid. It will be the 37th running of the Spanish ...

The FIA Formula One World Championship moves on to the fourth round of the 2007 season this week for the Gran Premio de Espana Telefonica, where Bridgestone Potenzas will grace all 22 cars on the grid. It will be the 37th running of the Spanish Grand Prix and the 17th time the event has been held at the Circuit de Catalunya, located just north east of Barcelona.

The two Bridgestone Potenza compounds brought to this circuit will be the hard and medium compounds, the same as those used in Malaysia and Bahrain, and both will have to be run during the course of the race. The softer of the two, the medium compound, will feature a painted white groove to distinguish it.

A circuit where aerodynamics is crucial, it has become a popular test venue for Formula One teams over the years. Barcelona has also undergone changes ahead of this season. Nevertheless, all eleven teams tested at the 4.655km track in February of this year and again last week from 30 April - May 2, giving them plenty of time to adjust to the new track layout at the final turns.

Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport Head of Track Engineering Operations:

Q: What are the challenges of the Barcelona circuit?

KvdG: In the past, the nature of this circuit has resulted in high degradation and graining, particularly on the front left tyres. However, this has become less of an issue now as the construction of the 2007 tyres provides a good balance for the cars and that, in combination with the track layout changes and the introduction of the chicane, which make speeds lower through the final turns, has resulted in a less severe circuit from a tyre manufacturer's point of view.

Q: What were the conclusions from testing here in February and this week?

KvdG: From the test last week it was clear that the medium compound was, on the whole, the more competitive compound. However, we should keep in mind that track temperatures last week and in February were on the low side and we also had rain which meant we had quite a green track at times.

Should we experience higher temperatures during the race weekend the hard compound tyre could well come into play. Last week's test also enabled the teams to run both the wet and extreme wet weather tyres and, in our opinion, both performed well in each of their respective windows.

-credit: bridgestone

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Series Formula 1