Silverstone: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone Motorsport Silverstone GP2 Series Preview The Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series heads to Silverstone, home of British Grand Prix for the fifth round of the championship where 26 drivers will do battle to work their way to the top of...

Bridgestone Motorsport Silverstone GP2 Series Preview

The Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series heads to Silverstone, home of British Grand Prix for the fifth round of the championship where 26 drivers will do battle to work their way to the top of the list of favourites for a drive in Formula One next season.

The 5.14km Silverstone track presents a tough challenge for competitors. A fast layout, with a slower complex just before the start finish straight, means that the tyres receive a harsh workout. Allied to this, the track surface is also one of the most abrasive encountered.

There is a change from last season for this round. In 2007 Bridgestone brought its hard compound Potenza GP2 tyre to Silverstone, but after analysing the data accumulated, GP2 will now run on the medium compound here. This will mean that teams and drivers have additional work to do, as they have less data, and will have to be vigilant regarding their tyre management.

In 2007, British driver Adam Carroll (FMS International) and UAE driver Andreas Zuber (iSport International) won a race apiece. Zuber is contesting this season's championship with Piquet Sports and will be hoping for a repeat performance.

Heading to Silverstone, Pantano leads the drivers' championship on 35 points ahead of Senna on 28. Buemi is in third position on 20 points. iSport International leads the teams' championship with 41 points from Racing Engineering on 38. Piquet Sports are in third place on 35.

Quote from Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development

"Silverstone is an interesting circuit. The layout is very high speed over most of the lap, and the track surface is very abrasive. We have changed our tyre allocation from the hard compound we used last season, to the medium for this year. We are confident in this choice, however, teams will have to collect data from the Friday and Saturday running before the first race. This data will be very important for the tyre management in the races. Of course, the GP2 / 08 car has more downforce than the previous car, and combined with the softer tyre there should be faster laps. Around Silverstone there should be some good racing because of this."

Stats & Facts
Number & Spec of tyres for Silverstone: 760 (medium)
Pole position time 2007: 1m 28.043s - A Zuber, iSport
Fastest race lap 2007: 1m 30.590s - K Nakajima, DAMS (R2)
Top three 2007 race 1: A Zuber (iSport), M Conway (Super Nova), K Nakajima (DAMS)
Top three 2007 race 2: A Carroll (FMS), P Maldonado (Trident), K Nakajima (DAMS)

Bridgestone GP2 Series: Q&A with Mike Conway

The Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series heads to Silverstone for the fifth round of the 2008 season. Drivers will find a high speed abrasive circuit at the home of the British Grand Prix, with a lower speed complex just before the main straight. British driver Mike Conway has a good history here and is looking forward to racing in front of his home crowds for the Trident Racing team.

Q. How are you enjoying your second full season in the GP2 Series?

A. It's good, I was happy when I came to Trident. We all get on really well and they are really motivated, and always pushing to get the best result possible. They also make sure they get the best out of the drivers at the same time, which is good. We knew the second year would be better for results - they just seem to come easier in your second year. You learn a lot from the year before, what you should do and what you're not doing. It's been quite difficult to begin with but we have finished and scored points, which is a lot more than the start of last year. I had my first win in Monaco so we just have to keep it up and make sure we're doing it every weekend.

Q. As a current young driver for the Honda F1 Racing Team, how well do you think GP2 prepared you for this step up to Formula One?

A. It does prepare you really well because you have such little time in GP2 to test. On a race weekend you only get 30 minutes practice and then the same for qualifying. This means you have to really maximise your time in the car and be focused on how you're going to get the car quicker. So it can only help going into F1, when you have a lot more time to practice, because you can be on it a lot faster.

Q. What are your thoughts on Silverstone as a track?

A. I like it because it's really fast. The first sector is really quick, the first corner's fast, along with Maggots and Becketts. Down the back straight into Stowe is really rapid too, and it's just a really flowing circuit, similar to Spa. I have raced at Silverstone lots of times, it's a track I like and seem to be quite fast at, so I'm looking forward to going there again and hopefully we will have another good weekend there.

Q. What are the secrets to a fast lap and also to a race winning performance?

A. Because it's fast you've really got to be keeping up the minimum speeds through there and you've got the slow sections as well, especially the last complex which is quite technical. It's quite a challenge and it's not easy to get the car set up right either because you need the car to be good through the high speed sections and also through the slow speed corners. It's quite a challenge.

Q. What's the key to good tyre management at Silverstone?

A. We ran the hard compound there last year which was quite easy for us. This year there is a change to medium, which could be a bit more difficult and strategy will come into it a bit more, but it will only be better and I think it will be faster.

-credit: bridgestone

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Adam Carroll , Mike Conway , Andreas Zuber
Teams DAMS , Racing Engineering , Trident