European GP: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone will bring its two softest tyres to the European Grand Prix on August 21-23 which takes place on the exciting 5.44km Valencia street course, located in the port area of Spain's third largest city. The venue, which was new on the ...

Bridgestone will bring its two softest tyres to the European Grand Prix on August 21-23 which takes place on the exciting 5.44km Valencia street course, located in the port area of Spain's third largest city.

The venue, which was new on the calendar last year, provides an interesting challenge. Although it is a temporary race facility the circuit layout resembles that of a permanent race track. The circuit has 25 corners to challenge the drivers, making set-up a real compromise. This Grand Prix will see the 150th race win taken on Bridgestone tyres.

Hiroshi Yasukawa - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport, said: "Bridgestone Spain is one of the most important subsidiaries of the Bridgestone Group, with over 4,000 employees, so it is good for us to visit Spain for a second time this year. We enjoy high brand awareness and good market share in Spain and this has been assisted by our Formula One activities. Over half of our Spanish tyre production is exported throughout the European Community so this illustrates the importance to us. Valencia was a fantastic addition to the Grand Prix calendar in 2008 and this year we look forward to returning and seeing the 150th race win taken on Bridgestone F1 tyres. This is a momentous occasion and we are very proud to supply Formula One."

Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development

What are the challenges of the Valencia street course? "This is an interesting track. It has the high speed configuration of a permanent circuit, however the track surface gives away that this is only a temporary facility. There are numerous turns, yet there are also many high speed sections and we see speeds of around 300kph five times during the course of a lap. There are low-speed corners too, so some heavy braking does take place. On the slippery surface that accompanies a street course it is difficult to find grip off line."

What did Bridgestone learn in its first visit here last season? "Last year we saw a lot of circuit surface evolution over the weekend and it was very much a learning process for everyone who attended the race. I think that everyone will continue to learn more about this venue when we visit it this season. We also found last year that the infamous gap between the bridge surface and the road surface presented no difficulties for our Formula One tyres. Last year our visit to Valencia was a momentous one as it was here that we celebrated our 200th Grand Prix participation since our entry in 1997."

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Hiroshi Yasukawa