San Marino GP: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone aims to level the score Bridgestone Motorsport had just the boost it needed last Friday with confirmation by the FIA that Jordan Ford driver Giancarlo Fisichella did indeed win the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix. Fisichella's ...

Bridgestone aims to level the score

Bridgestone Motorsport had just the boost it needed last Friday with confirmation by the FIA that Jordan Ford driver Giancarlo Fisichella did indeed win the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix. Fisichella's stunning performance on his Bridgestone intermediates was finally rewarded last week and the Japanese tyre manufacturer is now looking to level the score with its rival at the first European round of the season. Bridgestone also has a good track record at Imola with Ferrari's Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello taking a one-two in front of the Italian "tifosi" last year, heightening expectations further.

This week's testing in Italy by Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro (Fiorano/Mugello) and Sauber Petronas (Monza) and in France with the Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda team (Paul Ricard) has enabled Bridgestone to push on with its tyre development programme and the Bridgestone camp is expecting to now see the results of its winter testing efforts at various locations on the continent.

After the frenetic activity of the first three overseas rounds, the return to Europe also presents Bridgestone, as it does the teams, with a change in logistics. Unlike flyaway races which see the tyres sent directly by air from Japan to the circuits, approximately 1,100 tyres have been sent overland to the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari by three of Bridgestone Motorsport's tyre transporters.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:

"What a fantastic result for Giancarlo, it was a long time coming and we are proud to have played our part. It is Jordan's fourth GP victory and third on Bridgestones, we look forward to more like it. As we head to Europe now we can expect the competition to really heat up. There has been a great deal of attention recently about tyres and the role they play and we are looking forward to showing everyone just what we are capable of. Role on San Marino - we will be pushing for another victory!"

Tyres for San Marino
The 4.933km (3.065 mile), anti-clockwise Imola track consists of medium- high speed corners, a couple of slow chicanes, and straights that are comparatively short but still allow for speeds over 170mph. The combination of smooth track surface and cooler temperatures than previously seen overseas requires different considerations for tyre choice.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager:

"Last weeks testing in Italy and France enabled us to finalise our tyre choice for Imola. We had already gained a lot of vital information from winter testing at Imola and last week allowed us to confirm those results. Our tyres performed well on those occasions with Bridgestone teams posting good times so I'm confident we've made a good choice. We have selected tyre specifications from the softer side of our range to suit the less abrasive surface of Imola and have also had to take into consideration the need for extra traction and grip out of the slow corners."

"Furthermore, Imola tends to be a circuit that has a higher fuel effect on the cars, potentially influencing pit stop strategies. All in all, I think this could be the turning point in the season for us. Brazil was a difficult race which saw both our cars and those of our rivals struggling in the early stages due to high water levels on the circuit but the performance of the Bridgestone runners really shone through later on and as I said last Sunday, Fisichella was the true winner. I am very much looking forward to Imola now."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Rubens Barrichello , Hiroshi Yasukawa
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Jordan