Bahrain GP: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone ready to start 2006 F1 campaign in Bahrain After a busy winter of testing with Bridgestone's five teams: Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, Panasonic Toyota Racing, WilliamsF1, MF1 Racing and Super Aguri Formula 1; Bridgestone approaches ...

Bridgestone ready to start 2006 F1 campaign in Bahrain

After a busy winter of testing with Bridgestone's five teams: Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, Panasonic Toyota Racing, WilliamsF1, MF1 Racing and Super Aguri Formula 1; Bridgestone approaches the first round of the FIA Formula One World Championship in Bahrain with great anticipation.

Bridgestone has increased its number of teams for the 2006 season with Toyota and Williams choosing to switch to Bridgestone's Potenza Formula One tyres while Super Aguri, a new addition to the F1 paddock, has also chosen to run on Bridgestone rubber. The team's principal, Aguri Suzuki, was actually the first man to test the company's F1 tyres in 1996.

This year Ferrari will be looking to avenge the loss of the championship titles while Toyota and Williams will also be pushing hard for race victories. They have had plenty of work to do ensuring their 2006 chassis run in harmony with the new tyres and they are all hungry for success.

For MF1, 2006 will be an exciting season with expectations of strong performances having now made the final transition from formerly being Jordan Grand Prix. For the Super Aguri it will be an equally exciting but certainly challenging year as the team looks to establish itself for the first time in the world of Formula One.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:

"It has been a busy and exciting few months for Bridgestone: strengthening current relationships, rekindling old relationships and forging new ones. Bridgestone's technical and support staff have been working extremely hard over the winter with our five teams to meet the new challenges that lie ahead and I know they have enjoyed working with the teams and an increased number of drivers."

"Among these drivers there are also two F1 rookies Nico Rosberg, who was the first ever GP2 Champion last year, and Yuji Ide. With the introduction of V8 engines, the return of pit stops and a new qualifying format we are expecting an exciting season. This is Bridgestone's tenth season in F1 and we are delighted to be here supporting the championship and inviting our guests to watch the world's premiere single- seater racing series."

Tyres for Bahrain 5.412 km

As a reflection of the tyre regulations this year which permit seven sets of dry tyres per driver, four sets of wet weather tyres per driver and three sets of extreme wet weather tyres per driver, and the increased number of teams running with Bridgestone in 2006, approximately 1,200 Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tyres have been sent from the Technical Centre in Kodaira City, Tokyo, to the Bahrain International Circuit this week.

Season Preview
Hisao Suganuma Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager:

"The great thing about the first round of the year is that while we have conducted thorough testing programmes throughout the winter, until you get to the first race, you just never know quite where you stand! Our preparations this winter have been extensive and we have looked at all aspects of our tyre performance to find improvements."

"The ability to cross reference data and run several programmes simultaneously between the teams has been extremely beneficial and we are now just looking forward to going racing. We have new tyres this year as a reflection of the new regulations which include a return to pit stop changes and a reduction in power with the V8 engines."

"We have been able to concentrate more on grip, speed and consistency as the tyres now have a reduced lifespan of approx 150km as opposed to 350km last year. We have achieved some very positive results with our construction development programme and as a result we have been able to return to softer compounds.

Bahrain Preview
Hisao Suganuma:

"Looking more specifically at the Bahrain race all our teams have benefited from Ferrari running at the track during the winter, giving us more realistic feedback on our development. The Sakhir circuit is a medium downforce track with long straights, several tight corners and a relatively smooth surface. It is a demanding circuit and the drivers will need to be careful how they use their tyres in the new qualifying format."

"In addition, the Bahrain GP has moved to the front of the calendar which means that although we may have slightly cooler temperatures than in previous years, we could still face track temperatures of around 40 degrees Celcius. It is going to be a challenging race but we are confident our teams will be competitive."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Nico Rosberg , Yuji Ide , Aguri Suzuki , Hiroshi Yasukawa
Teams Ferrari , Williams , Toyota Racing , Jordan