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San Marino GP Preview: Bridgestone

NEWS STORY
18/04/2005

Bridgestone Motorsport has been driving hard recently to return Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro to the podium and to put Jordan Grand Prix and the Minardi F1 Team in with a shout of points. While competing on the Scuderia's home ground should be incentive enough, Bridgestone's engineers are also mindful that a Bridgestone equipped driver has won six of the last seven San Marino GPs. There is much at stake at this first race in Europe, giving it all the hallmarks of a thrilling weekend.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport: The first three rounds of this season have produced some interesting results. While they may have been great for the spectators, they were not quite what we had hoped for! However, we do believe that the Ferrari – Bridgestone package is growing stronger each day and there is also a huge amount of potential yet to come. Our technical personnel have been working hard with our teams in the past couple of weeks and we fully expect to see a competitive performance from them this weekend. For Ferrari and Minardi, in particular, a good result is important on their home territory.

The 4.933km Enzo e Dino Ferrari Circuit in the principality of San Marino has a relatively smooth track surface. Tyres are therefore made using compounds from the softer end of the scale but will be harder than in 2004 due to the new regulations.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager: San Marino provides us with an exciting and challenging start to the European season. Over the past few weeks we have tested extensively with Ferrari at Barcelona, Mugello and Fiorano and with Jordan at Paul Ricard while Minardi shook down their new 2005 challenger, also at Mugello. We have noted some encouraging findings which have influenced our choice of tyre for the next race. It is important for Imola that our tyres have good balance due to the undulating nature of the track and good front tyre performance can reduce understeer. The fuel effect can also be quite high there so I would expect a two stop strategy. Furthermore, the section down to Rivazza, in particular, requires good braking performance so we have had to take all these things into consideration when choosing our specifications for San Marino. With the progress made recently in conjunction with Ferrari I am looking forward to a competitive weekend. I am also keen to see the new Minardi race as they have not had a completely new car for some time.

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