The GP2 Series season starts at the Bahrain International Circuit alongside the third round of the FIA Formula One World Championship where 26 drivers spread across thirteen teams go head to head on Bridgestone Potenza tyres in the series which...
The GP2 Series season starts at the Bahrain International Circuit alongside the third round of the FIA Formula One World Championship where 26 drivers spread across thirteen teams go head to head on Bridgestone Potenza tyres in the series which has seen champions from the first two seasons go on to become full time Formula One drivers.
Bridgestone is the sole supplier for the series which runs across eleven rounds with all but the season finale on the same bill as a Grand Prix, thus putting teams and drivers firmly in the spotlight in front of Formula One teams and the international media.
Three specifications of Bridgestone Potenza slick tyres are produced for the year: soft, medium and hard compounds. The specification used for each race is determined in advance by Bridgestone and the GP2 Series. In Bahrain the medium specification will be used. For wet conditions an innovative wet specification Bridgestone Potenza tyre is available. This race will be the first time that the GP2 Series has visited Bahrain when on slick tyres as the 2005 race was run with dry grooved Bridgestones.
Q & A with Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development:
2006 was the first season in GP2 on slick tyres, what was learnt?
"The switch from grooved to slick dry weather tyres for the 2006 GP2 Series was an exciting new challenge and one we enjoyed. It brought a new dimension to the series. In the beginning of last season we found that many teams experienced a tendency for oversteer from their cars but the teams and our engineers worked together to find a good solution. This year the car has been modified so that the total package is more neutral, so we can expect a lot more close racing."
How different is the tyre technology with the GP2 tyres compared to the F1 tyres?
"Basically the technology is very comparable. Horsepower, weight distribution and car load are a little bit different but the basic concept is very similar. Our engineers who attend GP2 are learning so many things, and that knowledge can be applied to Formula One easily, so the GP2 category is very important for us to bring on our young engineers."