Bridgestone Corporation Motorsport UK Round 7 - Monaco Grand Prix - Preview Unique Monaco sets fresh tyre challenge Fresh from landlocked Austria, Formula 1 heads for the coastal principality of Monaco and the most glamorous and popular race...
Round 7 - Monaco Grand Prix - Preview
Unique Monaco sets fresh tyre challenge
Fresh from landlocked Austria, Formula 1 heads for the coastal principality of Monaco and the most glamorous and popular race on the calendar. The Austrian Grand Prix was one of Bridgestone's most successful races so far this season, with all the top-placed drivers claiming their podium places on Bridgestone tyres. In addition, Jos Verstappen's sixth place for OrangeArrows Asiatech ensured all Bridgestone's contracted teams are on the score sheet just six races into the season.
The Monaco Grand Prix is a unique race, run through the twisty, narrow streets of Monte Carlo, past famous landmarks like the Casino and sweeping alongside multi-million dollar yachts in the harbour. The challenge of racing here for Bridgestone and its contracted teams lies not only in working in a confined space but also finding tyres to suit such an unusal track.
The main issue to be tackled is how to find grip on the slow, slippery circuit which incorporates many changes of direction. For such a special track, Bridgestone has developed special tyres. There will be a new compound and new constructions among the 1,600 tyres for Monaco, with the new specifications designed to provide increased grip and improved handling.
All six of Bridgestone's contracted teams tested the new tyres last week, West McLaren Mercedes, Benson & Hedges Jordan Honda, Red Bull Sauber Petronas, Lucky Strike BAR Honda and OrangeArrows Asiatech at Valencia, and Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro at Fiorano.
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager at Bridgestone Motorsport, said:
"Testing in Spain and Italy last week was useful preparation for Monaco as all our teams were given the opportunity to try out the new compound and constructions. Monaco is a difficult race to test for - recreating its unique characteristics is impossible, not least because all the normal test tracks are much more abrasive. But all our teams were able to contribute to the final choice we made on tyres for Monaco. The softer of the two dry tyre options is the softest compound we expect to use this year.
"The new construction was developed to give higher grip. At a circuit like Monaco, the adjustments you can make to improve a car's handling are limited, but tyre choice can have a big influence over the the handling and stiffness of the car. Tyre construction can be equated to the foundations of a house - if the construction is developed to suit the particular circuit then what is built around it will work better. During testing for Monaco and later this week at the track, we will be working very closely with our teams to help them find the best set-up and, of course, which tyre to choose. I expect it to be a one-stop race. Although the new tyres were produced for Monaco, the results of their performance will contribute to our on-going development programme."