European GP: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone Motorsport European Prix Preview Bridgestone Motorsport will celebrate its 200th Grand Prix since its full time entry as a tyre supplier in 1997 at this weekend's Telefonica Grand Prix of Europe. Bridgestone's Potenza Formula One ...

Bridgestone Motorsport European Prix Preview

Bridgestone Motorsport will celebrate its 200th Grand Prix since its full time entry as a tyre supplier in 1997 at this weekend's Telefonica Grand Prix of Europe. Bridgestone's Potenza Formula One tyres have been used at every Grand Prix since the 1997 Australian Grand Prix.

The twelfth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship takes place on the new Valencia street circuit, where Bridgestone's soft and super soft Potenza tyres will take on the twists and turns of this exciting track, which threads its way through the port area of Spain's third largest city.

For this 200th race it's an all-new challenge. The Valencia street course has only recently been completed and only one previous race event has been held there. Formula One is set to visit Valencia for the next seven years.

There are twenty-five turns over the 5.44km duration of a lap, meaning that drivers will have their work cut out. Between these turns, a Formula One car will achieve speeds of around 300 kph five times during a lap, with Turn 17 expected to be the slowest point, with speeds of under 80 kph.

To prepare for racing at this new venue Bridgestone has worked closely with the Formula One teams, using data from their track simulations. In addition, Bridgestone personnel have visited Valencia to evaluate the track surface to predict grip levels and the amount of abrasion the circuit surface will provide.

Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development, said:

What are the difficulties of visiting this new street course in Valencia?

"The Valencia street course is new to Formula One so this will present many challenges for the teams. For Bridgestone, we have evaluated the track layout and surface and we will bring the softest tyres in our compound range, the soft and super soft. This is a street course with many corners, although we expect quite high speeds to be attained over the course of a lap. As with any street course we expect the grip levels from the circuit to improve over the course of the weekend. In Valencia in August we should see quite high temperatures so teams will have to be vigilant with their tyre management. As we have not raced here previously this should be a learning process for everyone involved, and strategy decisions over the race weekend will be interesting."

This will be Bridgestone's 200th race, is it rewarding to celebrate this at a new venue?

"When we entered Formula One in 1997 all of the circuits were new to us with F1 cars so it is fitting that we should celebrate our 200th race with a new track. Valencia is a city we spend a lot of time in when we are testing at the permanent race circuit so to be able to race along the streets of the port will be particularly special for us."

Stats & Facts

Number & Spec of tyres brought to Valencia:
2,000 (wet/extreme wets and soft & super soft dry)

-credit: bridgestone

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Series Formula 1