French GP Bridgestone preview

Hot action to continue at Magny-Cours The performance of rear tyres could be a deciding factor in the French Grand Prix this weekend in the second of the two back-to-back races. The Circuit de Nevers at Magny-Cours is notopriously harsh on rear...

Hot action to continue at Magny-Cours

The performance of rear tyres could be a deciding factor in the French Grand Prix this weekend in the second of the two back-to-back races. The Circuit de Nevers at Magny-Cours is notopriously harsh on rear tyres, while the anticipated high temperatures is also expected to play its part. Located in almost the centre of France, the track offers several overtaking opportunities. Considered a technical circuit, it consists of low-speed hairpins, medium-speed corners and fast chicanes. The track surface is smooth and there are generous run-off areas. Together with its six contracted teams, Bridgestone has done a considerable amount of testing at Magny-Cours. One of the dry tyre compounds going to France is brand new, while the other was taken to a recent race. The range of wet weather compounds has been adjusted to suit the track and expected weather.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager at Bridgestone Motorsport, said:

"During testing at Magny-Cours earlier this month, the track temperature reached 50 degrees. In simple terms, hotter weather will require a more durable compound, but if the temperature is not as high as we expect, our higher grip compound will be the one to choose. Either way, we have a tyre to suit the conditions. If it rains heavily, as it did two years ago, Magny-Cours is very low grip as the track is quite polished.

"Rear tyre degradation can be an issue at Magny-Cours, especially when it is warmer. However, we have plenty of experience at the track and such potential problems have been taken into account as we have developed our tyres for this year's race.

"The track has a number of quite tight corners, chicanes and hairpins. If drivers accelerate out of the corners early, sometimes the tyres can overheat or there is too much wear on the rear tyres and as a result their performance suffers. Oversteer is an inevitable consequence.

"Traction control may help in these circumstances, but it is difficult to calculate what positive influence it could have, if any, and therefore we have not relied on it in our choice of compounds for the race.

"As the Magny-Cours track is mainly uphill, I expect the cars to carry less fuel and therefore the teams may opt for a two-stop strategy."

-Bridgestone

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Series Formula 1