Bridgestone Motorsport Turkish Grand Prix Preview Bridgestone's soft compound appears for the first time at the harsh proving ground of the Istanbul Park Circuit where it will partner Bridgestone's hard compound for the trials and undulations of...
Bridgestone Motorsport Turkish Grand Prix Preview
Bridgestone's soft compound appears for the first time at the harsh proving ground of the Istanbul Park Circuit where it will partner Bridgestone's hard compound for the trials and undulations of the Turkish Grand Prix.
Round seven of the FIA Formula One World Championship takes place on the first anti-clockwise circuit of the season and Bridgestone's tyres will encounter almost every type of corner and force loadings over the 5.34 km of the Hermann Tilke designed course.
Of particular note is Turn Eight. This long, multi-apex, left-hand turn places fierce loads on the tyres, particularly the front right. Only a small portion of the track is on level ground, the majority being either uphill or downhill to present drivers with a real roller-coaster drive.
The final combination of corners before heading on to the start-finish straight will also give competitors plenty to think about. The left-right-left of turns 12-14 are the lowest speed areas of the track and come straight after the highest-speed straight. This combination is a breeding ground for tyre graining, so competitors will have to pay particular attention here to minimise this, especially early in the race weekend when the circuit is dirtier and has less rubber on it.
Last year Felipe Massa (Ferrari) achieved his second win of the season in the Turkish Grand Prix, after starting from pole and using a medium-medium-hard tyre strategy to win.
Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, said:
What are the challenges of Turkey?
"Istanbul has a wide range of different corner types and is a very difficult circuit to master in terms of car set-up and maximising tyre potential. It has high speed sections and also heavy braking. Both of these factors mean that a lot of energy is being put through the tyres, so watching wear and degradation will be a consideration. This circuit is not only a challenge for our tyres, drivers face a tough race too as the circuit is not clockwise like most of the tracks on the calendar."
How should the tyres cope with the tricky Turn Eight?
"Turn Eight is a difficult corner and we have learnt a lot about this corner from the problems we have seen here in the past. This season we are using slick tyres, and they are inherently stronger in the tread than a grooved tyre. In addition, we developed the tyres using the data gained here previously, so we are not predicting any issues, however we are always vigilant as this corner produces the highest G forces we see all season."
Stats & Facts
Number & Spec of tyres brought to Istanbul 1800 (Hard & soft dry. Intermediates/wets)
Pole position time 2008: 1min 27.617secs (Massa)
Fastest race lap 2008: 1min 26.506secs (Raikkonen)
Top three 2008: Massa, Hamilton, Raikkonen