European GP Bridgestone Free Practice Friday Notes

Nurburgring, September/ 24/ 1999 1999 EUROPEAN GRAND PRIX - FREE PRACTICE With unexpected stable weather conditions present at the German circuit of Nurburgring throughout today's track activities, the first practice sessions for the European GP...

Nurburgring, September/ 24/ 1999 1999 EUROPEAN GRAND PRIX - FREE PRACTICE

With unexpected stable weather conditions present at the German circuit of Nurburgring throughout today's track activities, the first practice sessions for the European GP found many drivers and their engineers puzzling over the best choice of tyres. Many of them decided to try the two different choices of dry tyres available with each of their drivers. Some of the teams were still undecided when practice ended, which will give an additional element of importance to the Saturday morning session when the final choice of tyre - Extra Soft or Soft - has to be made for qualifying and the race.

Yoshihiko Ichikawa, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager: "Many of the teams have had an opportunity to try the Extra Soft tyre here today, but it has become clear that it generates some understeer after a few laps and could lead to the rear tyres wearing. However, even after long runs, we didn't certify any major problems with the tyres. After having had used the Extra Soft without any problems even under very hot conditions as during the last Hungarian Grand Prix, we don't see any risk of big degradation here in Nurburgring."

Comments by an engineer from a team which used Extra Soft tyres: "The Extra Soft performs here in exactly the same way it did in Hungary. I mean, it is quick at the first run but then it starts to go away. However, after a period, when the tyres start to clean up, it seems to perform well again. The Extra Soft will probably be quicker than the Soft but with a little lack of consistency. It will certainly be a difficult choice. Concerning the temperatures, I do not believe that they will be very significant to the final performance."

Comments by an engineer from a team which used Soft tyres: "The Magny Cours test last week contributed as a pre-Grand Prix test for us. The French track is the closest circuit that we thought could represent the Nurburgring circuit. We did a lot of tyre work last week and based on that we have already decided our strategy for today's practice. Today both our drivers used the same specification of tyres and it seems the things worked well in terms of durability. On a track such as the Nurburgring where a lot of down-force is required, the proper balance of the car to avoid degradation over long runs will be the key point. The weather here is not a big concern for us, but I wonder how it will be in Malaysia above 30 degrees."

TEMPERATURES AIR TRACK WEATHER Morning 16:-18: 20:-22: Overcast - dry Afternoon 20:-20: 25:-28: Sunny- dry

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Series Formula 1