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German GP: Preview - Bridgestone

NEWS STORY
16/07/2008

Formula One heads to Germany for the tenth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship where Bridgestone's hard and medium Potenza tyres will tackle the diverse turns of the 4.57 km Hockenheim circuit.

This will be the first time that Bridgestone's current range of Formula One tyres will be raced at this track, as there was no event held last season. The hard and medium compound Bridgestone Potenza tyres have been chosen due to the harsh nature of the circuit layout and to allow for the wide range of weather conditions which could be seen during this event.

The layout of Hockenheim underwent a major redevelopment before the 2002 race, and Hockenheim no longer possesses the long straights for which it was once so famous. Instead it's a circuit with a wide range of different corners, ranging from the high speed sweeping Turn Five to the tight hairpin Turn Six.

Of the current Formula One drivers, only Fernando Alonso (Mild Seven Renault F1 Team) and Rubens Barrichello (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) have won at Hockenheim, in 2005 and 2000 respectively. This will be the 55th running of the German Grand Prix, and the 30th time the event has taken place at the Hockenheim circuit. Hockenheim was the location of the 100th race win on Bridgestone tyres, when Michael Schumacher took the chequered flag for the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team in 2006.

What are the challenges of Hockenheim?
Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development: Hockenheim is definitely a compromise circuit. The first sections are mainly high speed, but the stadium complex at the end of a lap is made up of a succession of slower corners. This will be an area where tyre graining can be caused, especially at the beginning of the race weekend. As ever, the weather will be difficult to predict, and we have seen a wide range of conditions at Hockenheim in the past. The hard and medium compounds should deliver strong performance even if it is very hot, although we could see our wet and extreme wet tyres used again at this event.

What has been learnt from the latest test in Hockenheim?
HH: Testing at Hockenheim was a valuable exercise as we have not previously undertaken mileage there with our current range of tyres. The test allowed us to verify the chosen compound allocation, and allowed the teams to work on their set-ups and car developments ahead of the race. Of course, the weather also enabled the teams to assess our wet and extreme wet weather tyres on the Hockenheim circuit too.

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