Bridgestone ready for Malaysian scorcher! After a sensational 1-2 with the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team in Melbourne recently, the Bridgestone Motorsport team is raring to get to Round 2 of the FIA Formula One World Championship in Sepang, ...
Bridgestone ready for Malaysian scorcher!
After a sensational 1-2 with the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team in Melbourne recently, the Bridgestone Motorsport team is raring to get to Round 2 of the FIA Formula One World Championship in Sepang, Malaysia one of the hottest grand prix of the year. Preparations for this year's Malaysian race started some months ago with a relentless winter test programme culminating in final specifications being chosen as recently as this week during testing in Valencia, Spain. Bridgestone grabbed the world's attention at the season opener in Australia with its superior tyre performance and it now intends to maintain its momentum by demonstrating that Bridgestone can put its teams on the podium and in the points.
Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:
"The Melbourne Grand Prix was a magnificent victory for both Ferrari and Bridgestone. And whilst that was just the first of many races, it was a fantastic boost to the Bridgestone Motorsport team who have worked tremendously hard over the past few months. We now move on to one of the most modern circuits in the world, in Sepang, where I expect our tyres and teams will once again prove their competitiveness. In Australia, Ferrari scored a great 1-2 on our tyres and now we want to go one step better by also adding Sauber, Jordan and Minardi to the scoreboards."
2004 Tyres for Malaysia
Manufactured in Bridgestone's Formula One production facility in Tokyo, approximately 1,400 Potenza Formula One tyres are being flown in specially for the Malaysian Grand Prix this year. These comprise of seven specifications of tyres and all feature newly developed compounds to combat the high temperatures which can be expected in Malaysia. Promoted as one of the hottest races in the world, last year Bridgestone recorded ambient air temperatures during the race of up 36C whilst track temperatures reached a sweltering 53C. The 5.543km (3.444 mile) Sepang circuit requires tyre compounds from the softer end of the range in order to give the cars good traction and grip on the track's smooth surface. Pitstop strategies will again play a part with teams perhaps opting for up to three pitstops.
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager:
"We have tested long and hard for races like Malaysia and the time has come to see if we have done our homework. There are many factors to take into account when developing tyres for Sepang but consistency in the heat is one area we have concentrated on. A significant part of our winter development programme was dedicated to making sure we are competitive in the heat this year. We know we have made important improvements and I'm looking forward to showing off our progress just as we did in Melbourne. In addition to heat durability, tyres for Malaysia also need to be able to cope with the high speed directional changes so stability of the tyres is important for a good lap time. We finalised the tyre specifications for our teams after the Australian Grand Prix during testing in Spain and although weather conditions did hamper us a little, we got some excellent data which suggests our teams should be competitive in Malaysia."