Bahrain GP: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone Eager for Bahrain Challenge The Bahrain Grand Prix is the first of two new races on the 2004 calendar and will present some unique challenges to tyre manufacturers. Teams and tyre manufacturers have had to study the nature of the ...

Bridgestone Eager for Bahrain Challenge

The Bahrain Grand Prix is the first of two new races on the 2004 calendar and will present some unique challenges to tyre manufacturers. Teams and tyre manufacturers have had to study the nature of the circuit and its track surface as closely as possible using computer simulation programmes. After a 1-2 in Australia with Ferrari, and a second win for the Scuderia and a point scoring result for Sauber in Malaysia, Bridgestone's Formula One technicians are eager to take on their next challenge in Bahrain.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:

"Whilst only the second race of the season, the Malaysian Grand Prix was an important marker for Bridgestone. One of our main aims over the winter was to improve the competitiveness of our tyres in the heat and to see Michael Schumacher win, Rubens Barrichello finish fourth and Felipe Massa take a well earned point, was an indication of things to come."

"Looking ahead to Bahrain, however, we can expect another very exciting race. The new circuit will present an unusual challenge for us but I have every confidence in our technical staff. We intend to show our ever increasing strength and will be aiming to put our teams on the podium and in the points once again."

"From a more general point of view it should be said that we are very much looking forward to Bahrain. Not only do we expect the facilities and the welcome to be first class but it will be a great pleasure to compete in a market which, whilst new to Formula One, is one that Bridgestone has had long standing ties with. The Middle East is a very important market for Bridgestone."

2004 Tyres for Bahrain
Bridgestone Motorsport will be transporting 1,400 Potenza Formula One tyres directly to the 5.417km Bahrain Sakhir Circuit. Bridgestone's tyres for the coming race will once again be using its newly developed hot weather compounds and based on the successful results of the past races and further testing last week at Mugello and Fiorano, Bridgestone's technicians have narrowed its choice of specifications for Bahrain down to four for its four teams.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager:

"The first half of the Sakhir circuit features tight corners whilst the latter half consists of several high speed directional changes. From a tyre point of view this means that we need good tyre stability. As long as large amounts of sand have not blown on track, we expect the surface to be smooth, requiring a mid to soft range compound. And of course, we have had to think carefully about temperatures because whilst we expect track temperatures to be above 50C, ambient temperatures may not rise above 30C. This is because the dark colouring of the tarmac surface will retain heat. We therefore need to prepare tyres again with good grip and heat durability."

"Following our encouraging results from Malaysia, we think we have just the tyres for the job. Bridgestone's teams, meanwhile, have played an even greater role in assisting preparations for this race. Their track simulation data has been especially helpful and we have discussed our tyre choices with them very closely. I can also say that our teams will benefit from Bridgestone's new shaped front tyre in Bahrain. As for sand - we just don't know. It is difficult to predict what will happen but if sand does get on to the track, then grip will be reduced. But, this is just one of those "X" factors you cannot control. Overall though, we are all revved up for this race!"

-bridgestone-

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