Bridgestone set for Suzuka Showdown After Sunday's thrilling Chinese Grand Prix victory by Michael Schumacher, which saw the seven time world champion draw ahead in the drivers' championship for the first time this season, Bridgestone Motorsport...
Bridgestone set for Suzuka Showdown
After Sunday's thrilling Chinese Grand Prix victory by Michael Schumacher, which saw the seven time world champion draw ahead in the drivers' championship for the first time this season, Bridgestone Motorsport heads straight to its home turf at Suzuka, Japan in preparation for one of the most challenging and pivotal races of the year.
The 5.807km Suzuka track is very much a circuit where tyre choice and performance will play a key role in the success of the Bridgestone teams this weekend and, like Shanghai last weekend, the weather can also be changeable. It is a key event for Bridgestone, however, and the company is focussing on making sure its teams can rely on its products.
For the home teams, Panasonic Toyota Racing and Super Aguri F1 in particular, and Scuderia Ferrari, who are chasing two championship titles, good performances this weekend are vital.
Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:
"The Japanese Grand Prix has a special significance as it is not only Bridgestone's home race but also a home event for two of our teams: Panasonic Toyota Racing and the Super Aguri F1 Team; and for two of our drivers: Takuma Sato and Sakon Yamamoto. There will therefore be a very enthusiastic crowd as well as approximately 1,500 Bridgestone employees and guests in the grandstands so we hope to give them a great show and hopefully, a win. We will be pushing very hard to enable our teams to reach their targets this weekend."
Tyres for Suzuka - 5.807km
The 2006 tyre regulations permit each driver seven sets of dry weather tyres, four sets of wet weather tyres and three sets of extreme wet weather tyres. Approximately 1,200 Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tyres will be sent over land from the Technical Centre in Kodaira City, Tokyo, to the Suzuka Circuit.
Hisao Suganuma, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager:
"Suzuka is a great circuit and very challenging from a driver's point of view. It has a unique figure of eight configuration, combining several high speed corners and a tight hairpin. All areas of the tyres' performance are tested in Suzuka on all four corners of the car. The track also demands good traction and high levels of grip. The S Curves in sector one are particularly important for setting good lap times as the drivers require good change of direction performance from the tyres."
"Another factor to take into consideration is Suzuka's track surface which is quite rough and abrasive. This dictates the need for a tyre with good wear durability and a mid-ranging compound selection. Our home Grand Prix is always very special as it is a chance to run in front of our fellow colleagues from Bridgestone but, like everyone else, we only run here once a year with F1 cars so we must prepare carefully for this race. Our tests in Silverstone and Mugello prior to the last grand prix were particularly helpful for simulating conditions at Suzuka and we have every intention of finishing this season on a high."