Italian GP: Bridgestone preview

Formula One makes its annual visit to the historic Monza venue in Italy for the Gran Premio d'Italia on September 7-9 where Bridgestone's medium and soft compound Potenza Formula One tyres will be used. The medium and soft compounds occupy the ...

Formula One makes its annual visit to the historic Monza venue in Italy for the Gran Premio d'Italia on September 7-9 where Bridgestone's medium and soft compound Potenza Formula One tyres will be used. The medium and soft compounds occupy the mid-range of Bridgestone's 2007 Formula One tyre range and have been used four previous times this season, in Australia, the United States, France and Germany.

The Monza track has long straights which require the cars run with low downforce set-ups to maximise their top speeds. Conversely this means the tyres have a more prominent role in the slow speed corners, the chicanes, as the low downforce means that mechanical grip comes to the fore. Traction out of the chicanes is important to maximise the potential on the straights, so Bridgestone's rear tyres in particular will receive a harsh workout.

The final corner is harsh in terms of tyre wear, but it is also important as the start/finish straight follows. It's not only the high speeds that challenge the tyres at Monza either, as the kerbs are frequently attacked in an aggressive manner to get a fast lap time.

The Italian Grand Prix has been won on Bridgestone tyres six times during Bridgestone's participation in Formula One, with the first win coming in 1999 by Jordan driver Heinz Harald Frentzen and the most recent last year with Scuderia Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher.

Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport Head of Track Engineering Operations:

Q: What challenges does Monza present?

KvdG: Monza is an extremely difficult circuit to master from a tyre perspective. In terms of track surface you could use a soft tyre. However, because of the high speeds a lot of heat is generated and therefore to cope with that you select a harder compound. This combines with the low downforce to make a compromise in terms of grip.

Q: What factors do teams need to be aware of in their use of the tyres?

KvdG: It's extremely important in Monza that the teams adhere to the minimum tyre pressures we advise for durability reasons, and this is a higher pressure than at other tracks. Of course the high pressure compromises the traction in the slow corners, but safety comes first. It's up to the team engineers to get the best compromise from their cars from the aerodynamics and suspension settings.

-credit: bridgestone

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher
Teams Ferrari , Jordan