Monaco GP: Bridgestone preview

Special tyres for unique Monaco A unique location, a special history and an extreme track for tyres - Monaco is the next stop in the Formula 1 World Championship. The glamour grand prix of the season is as popular with the stars as it is...

Special tyres for unique Monaco

A unique location, a special history and an extreme track for tyres - Monaco is the next stop in the Formula 1 World Championship. The glamour grand prix of the season is as popular with the stars as it is tough for drivers and teams, each of whom have to cope with a shortage of space both on the track and in the pit lane and paddock. Nevertheless, winning at Monaco remains the dream of every driver who has not yet tasted glory there. The track snakes through the narrow streets of the tiny principality in southern France, taking in famous sites like the Hotel de Paris, the Casino and harbour.

A car on Bridgestone tyres has won the Monaco Grand Prix for the past four years. Victory on May 26th would be the 60th time a Bridgestone-shod car has won a grand prix.

Testing again took place at multiple locations last week in preparation for Monaco, with Bridgestone's teams in Italy, Spain, France and the UK.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:

"We go into the Monaco race weekend with an 83 per cent success rate in terms of race wins on our tyres so far this season. Our performance at Monaco has been impressive to date so I am looking forward to a successful weekend. Four of our teams have collected points in the last two races and we will be doing everything we can to help all our teams fulfil their ambitions on Sunday."

The 2002 Tyres

Bridgestone has developed two brand new specifications for the Monaco Grand Prix, incorporating two new compounds and a new construction. Approximately 1,600 tyres will go to Monaco.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:

"The compounds for Monaco are always the softest of those we take to any race because of the nature of the track. The adjustments one can make to the car to find grip and improve its handling around the twisty street circuit are limited but the right tyre choice can made a significant difference. Both our new compounds are from the softer end of our range. We have also developed a new construction especially for this race. In addition, we have developed a new intermediate tyre especially for Monaco."

The Track

Monaco is the slowest circuit on the Formula 1 calendar with an average speed of about 145km/h (90mph). It is tight, twisty with numerous changes of direction and the surface is extremely slippery. The lack of overtaking opportunities means qualifying well is especially important.

Hisao Suganuma added: "The nature of the Monaco track means finding grip and traction are the priorities of the weekend. But the narrow circuit also presents other problems for tyres. There is very little room for error, literally, with the barriers just inches away at certain parts of the track. Man-hole covers are a further opportunity for damage while painted road-markings add to the risk of sliding. All in all, it's very difficult. Testing for Monaco is a challenge because recreating its special characteristics at a `normal' track is impossible. However, we have learned a lot from the five races in which we have competed there and know what it takes to produce race-winning tyres."

-bridgestone-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Hiroshi Yasukawa