Bridgestone's teams were out in force last week at no fewer than three different test circuits across Europe with all showing good progress. The Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team, in particular, has been busy, running at both the Jerez de la Frontera...
Bridgestone's teams were out in force last week at no fewer than three different test circuits across Europe with all showing good progress. The Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team, in particular, has been busy, running at both the Jerez de la Frontera and Mugello circuits in Spain and Italy respectively. And whilst the bulk of the development work has been carried out by the F2003-GA in Spain, it is the recent lap times of the new F2004, in Italy, that will no doubt be drawing the curiosity of rival teams.
Bridgestone Motorsport's Technical Manager, Hisao Suganuma said: "We have seen some very good lap times in Mugello this past week. It has been encouraging for the strength of the Ferrari car-Bridgestone tyre package."
The Sauber Petronas and Jordan Ford teams were also in action at the 4.428km Jerez circuit with both conducting essential tyre programmes for Bridgestone. Mr Suganuma was pleased with their work.
"Our teams have been running tyre comparison tests this week and with over 1,800 tyres and approximately 20 specifications to try, they have had their work cut out for them. But, we now have a good indication of our basic tyre specification for Melbourne and we still have next week to make any small adjustments. So far, it is looking promising."
The European Minardi Cosworth team, meanwhile, has been testing its new car, the PS04B, at the Autodromo Santamonica in Misano, Italy. Said Suganuma: "Minardi had a very productive test in Misano. They were able to find good balance on the Bridgestone tyres with their new chassis and they should be able to further their progress in Imola next week, where we are expecting the latest development tyres from Japan."
All four Bridgestone teams will test at Imola, where they will resume testing. Ferrari and Minardi will both carry out two days of tests on 18th and 19th February whilst Sauber and Jordan will start a day earlier on the 17th February to complete three days of testing each.
Whilst the 4.933km Imola circuit does not necessarily bear much resemblance to the Melbourne circuit, nor are temperatures expected to be high, it does, however, share similarities to the compound range needed in Australia. Bridgestone's teams will be able to use this test to confirm their tyre choices for the first round of the 2004 season.