Bridgestone Motorsport Spanish Grand Prix Preview After three fly-away races, Formula One makes its European debut for 2008 when Bridgestone's hard and medium compound Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tyres get put through their paces ...
Bridgestone Motorsport Spanish Grand Prix Preview
After three fly-away races, Formula One makes its European debut for 2008 when Bridgestone's hard and medium compound Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tyres get put through their paces at Barcelona's gruelling Circuit de Catalunya on April 27th for the Gran Premio de Espana Telefonica.
Barcelona is well known to teams with much of the pre-season testing undertaken at the 4.66 km facility. The track layout features one long straight and a variety of different corners making set-up a compromise. Previously, Barcelona was a circuit where high degradation and graining were prevalent, but the circuit's most recent layout changes make this less of a problem than before.
The track is still a harsh one which means that the hardest compounds from Bridgestone's range are employed. The harder compounds also provide the drivers with greater handling stability through the challenging circuit and of particular note the left front tyre is put under significant stress over the course of a lap.
There have been minor changes to a number of kerbs and a small element of track resurfacing since the last Grand Prix here, which was won by Felipe Massa (Ferrari). Massa used a medium-medium- hard tyre strategy to take his win, which he achieved from pole position.
As with any circuit, the compromise between finding low drag for the straights and sufficient downforce for the corners is a challenge. Barcelona's numerous bends make for a greater focus on the corners and the high speeds attained here produce significant energy forces on the tyres.
Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development, said:
"Barcelona is a circuit that Bridgestone and all the teams and drivers know well. Even though we are very familiar with it, we still have to be vigilant as it is by no means an easy circuit. In terms of tyre allocation we bring our hardest tyres as these provide the most constant performance. Barcelona has a track surface which is middle of the range in terms of abrasion and roughness but durability and driver requirements mean our hardest compounds are needed. The front left tyre gets a tough workout at this circuit, as do the teams and drivers, as they try to gain an advantage on a track they all know so well."
Stats & Facts
Number & Spec of tyres brought to Barcelona: 2,200 (wet/extreme wets and hard & medium dry)
Pole position time 2007: 1min 21.421 (F Massa, Ferrari)
Fastest race lap 2007: 1min 22.680 (F Massa, Ferrari)
Top three 2007: F Massa, L Hamilton, F Alonso