Monaco GP: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone intends to get the measure of Monaco Bridgestone Motorsport is about to be presented with its toughest challenge yet in this season's FIA Formula One World Championship. Five consecutive wins for Michael Schumacher and no fewer than...

Bridgestone intends to get the measure of Monaco

Bridgestone Motorsport is about to be presented with its toughest challenge yet in this season's FIA Formula One World Championship. Five consecutive wins for Michael Schumacher and no fewer than eight wins in a row for the Bridgestone-Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro partnership since Monza 2003 is no mean feat but Bridgestone intends to keep up the impetus.

The 3.34-km street circuit in the Principality of Monaco poses a unique challenge to teams and tyre manufacturers in the form of unforgiving walls and an extremely smooth track surface. Furthermore, due to its nature as a street circuit, teams can only rely on previous years' data, simulation techniques and limited testing at other circuits in Europe with similar features.

Bridgestone has been busy over the past week testing with Ferrari at the Italian circuits of Fiorano and Mugello while Sauber Petronas has been testing in the UK at Silverstone and Jordan Ford in France at the Paul Ricard circuit.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:

"The Spanish Grand Prix was a special one for Bridgestone as Michael Schumacher claimed his fifth consecutive win of the season. Spain also gave a strong indication of how all our teams can use Bridgestone's advanced tyre technology to maximum advantage and I expect to see this continue throughout the year. Monaco this week presents everyone with an altogether different challenge. It is an unforgiving but extremely rewarding circuit on which to drive and I look forward to seeing the Bridgestone drivers compete at such a prestigious race."

"From Bridgestone's point of view, it is another technical challenge to embrace. The unusual schedule which sees us starting a day earlier means that track conditions from Thursday to Sunday can vary considerably but following extensive preparations over recent months I believe we will be better prepared than ever for the Monaco Grand Prix."

2004 Tyres for Monaco

The 3.34km smooth surfaced Monaco street circuit requires careful thought by tyre manufacturers. Bridgestone equipped drivers will be utilising very soft compounds this weekend. In line with previous races, 1400 dry and wet weather Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tyres will be making their way to Monte Carlo.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager:

"We shall be taking five specifications of dry weather Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tyres to Monaco this week. The selection was finalised last week at a number of venues involving three of our four teams at various European circuits. It has been encouraging to see similar results coming from these different tests, which is very beneficial for having a clear development direction. Monaco is also the first of the double-headers so we have been working on our Nurburgring tyre choices too."

"Looking more specifically at Monaco, however, we have worked hard to improve our first lap performance as qualifying is of particular importance on a street circuit with limited overtaking opportunities. Very soft compounds are also necessary for grip and one lap performance but this can increase the likelihood of graining. We need to make sure we do not compromise performance following on from that first lap. However, we have been encouraged with our test results so I am looking forward to seeing our tyre performance in Monaco."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Hiroshi Yasukawa
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Jordan