Italian GP: Bridgestone preview

Last European lap on Ferrari home turf Just a few days after leaving Italy following a four-day test, Bridgestone and its teams head back to the Monza circuit for the Italian Grand Prix. The race is the last European round of the 2002 Formula ...

Last European lap on Ferrari home turf

Just a few days after leaving Italy following a four-day test, Bridgestone and its teams head back to the Monza circuit for the Italian Grand Prix. The race is the last European round of the 2002 Formula 1 world championship with only the US and Japanese grands prix to go.

Four of Bridgestone's five teams were in action last week at one of the biggest testing sessions of the year. The test confirmed the tyre specifications for this weekend's race and provided some useful information for future development.

Located within a royal park to the north-east of Milan, Monza is the fastest track on the Formula 1 calendar following the reduction in fast straights at Hockenheim with speeds in excess of 350 km/h. Full of history and passion, Monza remains a Mecca for motor-racing fans not least Ferrari's loyal supporters, the tifosi, who will be out in force to welcome home their triumphant team.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:

"It is always a pleasure to go to Monza which is a fitting place to end the European season. One cannot help but get caught up in the passion of the Italian fans who once again have a world champion team and driver to support. Last week Bridgestone took part in an extremely productive test at the circuit, the mixture of weather providing our engineers with data on all our tyres. We hope that our tyre choice will help all our teams and give the local fans something to celebrate on Sunday afternoon."

The Track

Monza has a challenging mix of high speed straights, long corners and quick chicanes all of which demand a lot from engines, brakes, traction and tyres. The track surface, however, is relatively smooth.

Hisao Suganuma Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:

"Once a driver has crossed the start-finish straight at Monza he gets very little relief from speed and braking. Stability under braking into the corners, grip through the corners and good traction on the exit are normal requirements but become particularly important at Monza; the cars are carrying very low downforce to give a speed advantage but obviously this can cause the car to slide through the corners. However, the most critical feature of this circuit from a tyre manufacturer's point of view is the demands it puts on the heat durability of the tyres."

The Tyres

The two dry weather specifications for Monza are new, both with a new construction designed especially for this circuit. The rain tyre range consists of two intermediates and one normal wet tyre.

Hisao Suganuma added: "The tyres get hotter at Monza than at most tracks because of the higher number of heat-generating revolutions they do. Internally, they can reach temperatures as high as 180C while the surface of the tyres can get up to 140C. With the difficulties that heat can cause to tyres, we are looking for consistency in their performance as the temperature builds during a stint. Last week's test indicated that we needed to improve the heat durability of the tyres so the choice of specifications for this race was influenced by those test results. The extra grip required from the tyres to lessen sliding during cornering means we cannot choose compounds that are too hard but at least wear is not a huge problem because there are not so many corners."

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Hiroshi Yasukawa
Teams Ferrari