Bridgestone Motorsport and the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Formula One team took another step closer last week with the visit by the team's Technical Director, Ross Brawn, of Bridgestone Europe's Technical Centre on the outskirts of Rome, ...
Bridgestone Motorsport and the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Formula One team took another step closer last week with the visit by the team's Technical Director, Ross Brawn, of Bridgestone Europe's Technical Centre on the outskirts of Rome, Italy.
Whilst not a specific Formula One facility, the visit signified not only the continuously developing relationship between the two companies but also the increasingly open exchange of technical information. The primary focus of the event, however, was to motivate and further educate Bridgestone's young engineers.
Ross Brawn, Ferrari's Technical Director commented: "Today was all about meeting and talking to Bridgestone's engineers and about getting a closer look at the technical facilities here in Rome. It is an important visit not only for our relationship, but also to understand Bridgestone's capabilities. It was a pleasant surprise to see the extent of their technical ability to design, project and control the tyres."
Ross Brawn began his visit to the Bridgestone facility by giving an in- depth lecture to a group of forty, young and aspiring tyre engineers. This was followed by an open question and answer session which enabled a genuine insight into Ferrari, the world of Formula One and the collaboration between Bridgestone and Ferrari which has resulted in five consecutive Constructors' World Championship titles and four consecutive Drivers' World Championship titles.
In fact, the aptness of the lecture was not lost on Ross Brawn, whose father was a Firestone field engineer for more than twenty-five years. It was due to his father's interest in motorsport that Ferrari's future Technical Director developed his passion for the sport.
Hosted by the Technical Centre's Managing Director, Alberto Laurenti, and Head of Tyre Development, Franco Annunziato, Ross Brawn was next given a guided tour of the Technical Centre. The tour encompassed the Flat Trac and simulation facility, chemical laboratory, indoor workshop including the colour data and road profile departments and demonstrations of the rigorous drum testing conducted on Bridgestone's tyres.
Ross Brawn then went on to put his own skills to the test at the wet handling track. Following a few laps in the passenger seat of a Fiat Group car with ex-Formula One driver and official Bridgestone tyre test driver, Stefano Modena, Ross Brawn put in an admirable and safe performance.
The day concluded with a visit to Bridgestone's new Proving Ground which is due to be officially opened later this year.
Delighted with the visit, Managing Director of the Bridgestone Europe Technical Centre, Alberto Laurenti, commented: "This was yet further confirmation of the strength of the partnership between Ferrari and Bridgestone. We have a very strong relationship in Formula One already but we are also strengthening our collaboration regarding passenger road car projects."
"For us, it was a very positive sign that Mr. Brawn took one day of his valuable time to visit the Technical Centre. Not only did he use the visit to see for himself the facilities we have here but he also gave an extremely insightful lecture to our young engineers and answered many of their very probing questions! Listening to him, it is quite evident that Bridgestone and Ferrari are working extremely closely and it proved a tremendous boost to the education and motivation of our next generation of engineering staff."
Mr. Laurenti finished by saying: "And who knows? Perhaps one day our facilities here, alongside our new Proving Ground which is due to be officially opened this summer, may have a role to play in future collaborations between our two companies?"