Monaco GP: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone aims to set the record straight in Monaco The last time the Monaco Grand Prix was won by a Bridgestone shod driver was in 2001 by Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's Michael Schumacher. After an absence of four years, Bridgestone ...

Bridgestone aims to set the record straight in Monaco

The last time the Monaco Grand Prix was won by a Bridgestone shod driver was in 2001 by Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's Michael Schumacher. After an absence of four years, Bridgestone is particularly eager to see a Bridgestone runner on the top step of the podium again and in an effort to regain this recently elusive honour, Bridgestone has been putting its new soft range of compounds through thorough testing with its teams.

Monaco's unique street circuit features one of the smoothest track surfaces on the calendar and its coastal location can make it prone to unstable weather conditions. Overtaking opportunities are rare and therefore qualifying performances will be key to the fate of Bridgestone's teams next weekend. It is a big challenge for teams and tyre manufacturers alike but it is a challenge Bridgestone is relishing.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:

"Looking at the competitive performances of several of the Bridgestone teams over the past six races, there are a number of Bridgestone drivers who are capable of making it onto the podium next week. The Monaco GP is a very prestigious race so we are keen to see our teams do well there."

Tyres for Monaco - 3.340km

The 2006 tyre regulations permit each driver seven sets of dry tyres, four sets of wet weather tyres and three sets of extreme wet weather tyres. Combined with the increased number of teams running with Bridgestone in 2006, approximately 1,200 Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tyres are being sent from the Technical Centre in Kodaira City, Tokyo, to Monaco.

Hisao Suganuma, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager:

"As the only real street circuit on the F1 calendar, the Monaco Grand Prix is extremely special. The cars need to have precise handling as they run so close to the sides. From a tyre point of view, the tyre manufacturer needs to provide tyres which give the drivers good handling characteristics. Being a street circuit with very tight corners, the tyres also need to provide good acceleration out of the slow corners."

"The tarmac on Monaco's street surface is another factor taken into consideration by the tyre manufacturers. The surface is very smooth and therefore compounds are from the softer end of the scale to ensure enough grip. With tyre changes now permitted and our recent developments progressing well, Bridgestone is taking a combination of both raced and previously unraced very soft compound tyres. The new compound tyres are actually softer than those used in 2004 [prior to the single tyre rule]. The Bridgestone wet weather tyres will also feature a soft compound."

"In terms of strategy, I expect the majority of teams will stop twice in the race although a one-stop strategy is possible due to the shorter length of race distance. However, race strategies will ultimately be tied into a qualifying strategy and at Monaco, qualifying as far up the grid as possible is essential as overtaking is extremely difficult."

"All in all, I'm looking forward to seeing our teams perform at Monaco. We have made significant efforts to give them the necessary tyres which will perform well not only on the smooth surface but also in qualifying, the race and in potentially unstable weather conditions. It's going to be an interesting weekend!"

-bridgestone-

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