Spanish GP: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone Eager for Espana! Fresh off the back of a fourth consecutive win with the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team, Bridgestone Motorsport is aiming for further success at the Circuit de Catalunya this weekend where Formula One teams will be...

Bridgestone Eager for Espana!

Fresh off the back of a fourth consecutive win with the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team, Bridgestone Motorsport is aiming for further success at the Circuit de Catalunya this weekend where Formula One teams will be vying for glory at Round Five of the FIA Formula One World Championship. Bridgestone Motorsport's preparations for the Spanish Grand Prix have been substantial with numerous tests conducted in the months leading up to the forthcoming weekend.

At a circuit where Michael Schumacher and Bridgestone have traditionally proven themselves to be at the top their game, the stakes are high with a reputation to maintain. In fact, the Bridgestone-shod reigning World Champion has taken victory from pole position at the Catalan circuit every year since 2001. Sauber Petronas, Jordan Ford and Wilux Minardi Cosworth are also intent on making their mark this weekend.

Testing over the past two weeks has centred not only on finalising the Barcelona specifications but also on future races. Sauber's three day test at the Italian Fiorano circuit ensured plenty of preparation for the Monaco and Nurburgring races whilst the Jordan team conducted straight line testing at Vairano. Minardi undertook a day's productive testing at Mugello.

Ferrari, meanwhile, had a two pronged approach with four days of running at Mugello to ensure its Spanish GP tyre choice was settled, and four days at Monza, enabling Bridgestone's tyre engineers to work on the specifications for the European, Canadian and US Grands Prix.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport:

"As you can imagine, with four wins out of four for the Ferrari-Bridgestone partnership, we are very pleased with our performance so far this season. The F1 calendar has presented Bridgestone and its teams with a variety of differing circuits and track conditions and it is satisfying to see how well each challenge has been met. However, Barcelona is one of the most popular circuits for teams to test at which means we can expect the competition to be even more fierce than usual. As always, Spain looks like it will provide yet another thrilling race weekend."

2004 Tyres for Barcelona
The 4.627-km Circuit de Catalunya is one of the toughest tracks on the Formula One calendar. Bridgestone Motorsport has therefore sent approximately 1,400 dry and wet weather tyres which have been selected following extensive testing to suit the abrasive surface of the track. Four dry weather specifications using compounds from Bridgestone's mid-hard compound range will be available for its teams this coming weekend.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager:

"Barcelona is a very tough track for tyre wear and degradation especially rear tyres. The nature of the track's abrasive surface means we have had to think carefully about our choice for this race. Fortunately, despite the rain last week, Ferrari was able to conduct some useful testing at Mugello for this purpose. The Barcelona circuit modifications which were made over the winter have resulted in the addition of quite a demanding corner so the need for a good car and tyre set-up is imperative. High braking forces and good traction out of corners will also be a factor. We do test at this circuit quite regularly and we have an excellent record here so I'm looking forward to this weekend's challenge."

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