Lewis Hamilton to South Korea Ahead of Inaugural Grand Prix Bridgestone Tire South Korea Ltd. welcomed Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton to South Korea on Wednesday (20 October) at an autographing and talk show event...
Lewis Hamilton to South Korea Ahead of Inaugural Grand Prix
Bridgestone Tire South Korea Ltd. welcomed Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton to South Korea on Wednesday (20 October) at an autographing and talk show event held in the Seoul Arts Centre, in the nation's capital city.
Just two days before the first ever Korean Formula One Grand Prix weekend started in Mokpo, Jeollanam-do province of South Korea, the 2008 FIA Formula One World Champion was invited to the venue by the sole Official Tyre Supplier to Formula One, where he signed replica Bridgestone podium caps for Bridgestone's tyre dealers, customers and other invited VIPs.
Against the backdrop of a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes show car, which is currently on display along with many other items of Formula One team and motorsport memorabilia as part of the "Formula One: The Great Design Race" exhibition held at the Seoul Arts Centre, Hamilton was also joined by Managing Director of Bridgestone Korea, Tomoya Sano, and Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development, Hirohide Hamashima.
During the talk show Hamilton gave the guests and invited media an insight into his duties over a weekend, the importance of race tyre compound choice and management, as well as giving a few tips to drivers in Korea about safe driving and the importance of regularly checking the pressure and condition of the tyres on their own road cars.
Hamilton, who currently lies fourth in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship greeted the guests in Korean before going on to comment that, "I am very happy to be here. This is my second visit to Korea after I came here many years ago, so I'm really happy to be back and it is great to see that we have Formula One in Korea. When I came here many years ago I was not in Formula One so I did not have so many fans, but coming here for the first time as a Formula One driver I was very unaware of just how much support we have here. I think it's very exciting for Korea to have this Grand Prix and I really hope that this weekend we're able to put on a great show for all the fans and I'd like to thank all the Formula One fans in Korea for their support. I'll do my best to win this weekend."
In light of Bridgestone's withdrawal from Formula One at the end of this season Hamilton also said, "I have been working with Bridgestone for many years so I understand the passion that they have, as well as the expertise and innovation with their racing tyres for both wet and dry conditions. It has been a great experience working with Bridgestone, and to see the enthusiasm they have had in Formula One for the last few years when they have had great success. It has been a great privilege working with Bridgestone as they are such a great brand. I have Bridgestone tyres on my road car and I've never had problems with them and I'm hoping that even when they leave Formula One they can still continue to supply me with road tyres."
Mr Tomoya Sano, Managing Director of Bridgestone Korea, was delighted to host Hamilton and took the opportunity to highlight the importance of the arrival of Formula One to Korea saying, "We have been waiting for this moment for a very long time and now the dream comes true with the Korean Grand Prix. This is a very important event and a great opportunity for Bridgestone in Korea to be able to show that Bridgestone is the Official Tyre Supplier to the world's premier single-seater racing series. We expect that many people will watch the race on television and see the strong Bridgestone branding at the circuit."
Bridgestone at Korean F1 Grand Prix
Bridgestone has allocated the Hard and Soft dry tyre compounds to this weekend's Korean F1 GP. In total 2,000 Bridgestone Potenza F1 tyres (comprising of two compounds of dry slick tyres, one intermediate tyre and one wet tyre) have been shipped to Korea for the race.