Bridgestone will bring the hard and soft compound Potenza tyres for Formula One’s return to the superb motor sport facility of Suzuka after two years’ absence for the Japanese Grand Prix on October 2-4. The past two Japanese Grands Prix were held at Mount Fuji so this will be the first time that all of the current teams will race at this track exclusively on Bridgestone Potenza tyres.
The allocation of hard and soft was previously used in Sepang, Barcelona and Silverstone and it is a return to the concept of leaving a stiffness gap between allocated tyres.
Hiroshi Yasukawa – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport, said: “Bridgestone is a Japanese company so our home Grand Prix has special importance for us. It is also good to return to Suzuka as this venue has been the scene of so many great battles over the years. We will have many special guests and staff from our company attending this event so we are hopeful of an exciting race.”
Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, said:
What are the challenges of Suzuka? “We last visited Suzuka in 2006 and a lot has changed in Formula One since then, so teams will have to work hard to understand the circuit with the latest specification cars and tyres. For the younger drivers this will be the first time they visit this circuit so they are set for a delight. The configuration is unique as it is a figure of eight and there are several high speed corners as well as a hairpin, so there is a lot to consider for car set-up and in the race.”
What are the primary tyre performance considerations? “Interestingly, around half of the track has been resurfaced. The new surface on the east side is very smooth and gives good grip. The older surface on the west side gives less grip than the newer surface on the east side. We will not know exactly how this will affect performance until the cars are running, but it certainly will be a consideration. The circuit layout tests all four corners of the car so a good all-round set-up will need to be found. The best set-up will be the one which allows the best traction, grip and enable quick change of direction from the tyres.”
Stats & Facts
Number & Spec of tyres brought to Suzuka: 1800 (Hard & soft dry. Intermediate/wets) Pole position time 2006: 1min 29.599secs (Massa) Fastest race lap 2006: 1min 32.676secs (Alonso) Top three 2006: Alonso, Massa, Fisichella
Source: Bridgestone Motorsport