Australian GP: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone aims for further success down under After two thrilling races in Bahrain and Malaysia from which several Bridgestone runners have come away with points, Bridgestone Motorsport now heads down under to Melbourne for next weekend's ...

Bridgestone aims for further success down under

After two thrilling races in Bahrain and Malaysia from which several Bridgestone runners have come away with points, Bridgestone Motorsport now heads down under to Melbourne for next weekend's Australian Grand Prix.

Placed third on the calendar this year due to the Commonwealth Games taking place in Australia's "Garden City", Melbourne's stop-and-go circuit is still expected to provide plenty of thrills and excitement.

Bridgestone is expecting its teams to keep building on the progress they have made so far this season using their new style tyres which have been developed specifically for the 2006 regulations which now include a return to tyre changes and a new qualifying format.

Michael Schumacher currently lies second in the drivers' standings with eleven points while fellow Bridgestone runner Felipe Massa has four points, local hero Mark Webber three points, Nico Rosberg two points and Ralf Schumacher one point. Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro is second in the constructors' standings.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:

"Traditionally the first race on the calendar, the Australian Grand Prix is a favourite of the F1 community and we are looking forward to returning to Melbourne, albeit later in the year than normal. Australia is an important market for Bridgestone and we are hoping to give our guests and supporters some exciting racing and good results."

"We are pleased that WilliamsF1 driver Mark Webber will be launching the FIA-Bridgestone Think Before You Drive campaign in Melbourne on Wednesday 29 March. As a popular role model, we hope that Mark's support for this safety campaign will help people hear about and understand the importance of the campaign's key messages: checking the tread depth and pressure of tyres, wearing a seatbelt, using a child seat and checking head rests."

Tyres for Australia

The 2006 tyre regulations permit each driver seven sets of dry tyres, four sets of wet weather tyres and three sets of extreme wet weather tyres. Combined with the increased number of teams running with Bridgestone in 2006, approximately 1,200 Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tyres are being sent from the Technical Centre in Kodaira City, Tokyo, to Australia's Albert Park Circuit.

Hisao Suganuma, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager:

"We arrive in Australia several weeks later than normal and one of the main considerations therefore is the weather. Melbourne's climate is traditionally unstable at GP time but we do expect cooler conditions than normal."

"We have been pleased with the way our new range of tyres for 2006 has been providing consistently good performances in the opening races and so the majority of the Bridgestone shod teams have chosen a combination of previously raced and new tyre specifications for the Australian Grand Prix."

"We anticipate that the medium to soft compound range of these tyres will be competitive in the expected cool conditions and on the relatively smooth track surface. We also expect our tyres will cope well with the graining that often occurs while running on the Albert Park track."

"So far this season we have had two exciting races in which several Bridgestone runners have picked up points so we are looking for a strong performance in Melbourne."

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Mark Webber , Felipe Massa , Nico Rosberg , Hiroshi Yasukawa
Teams Ferrari , Williams