Monaco GP Preview: Bridgestone


Bridgestone Motorsport heads to Monaco this week for arguably the most prestigious race on the FIA Formula One World Championship calendar. The 63rd Grand Prix of Monaco is the one race every driver dreams of winning but it is also one of the most challenging for a tyre manufacturer. Run over the streets of Monaco using just one set of tyres for qualifying and the race, Bridgestone's engineers have been focussed on getting just the right blend of grip and durability from the tyres to ensure the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, Jordan Grand Prix and Minardi F1 team drivers can tackle the 78-lap race with the utmost confidence and competitiveness.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport: "After the disappointing outcome of the Spanish Grand Prix, we are keen to see our teams achieve their full potential at the forthcoming Monaco Grand Prix. This is a unique venue for a grand prix and one that holds considerable prestige. It does pose some logistical challenges but that is part of the character of this event and we are looking forward to returning again this year. Rubens Barrichello took a podium place last year for Ferrari and Bridgestone and after a lot of hard work from our technical personnel recently, we are hoping he and Michael Schumacher can push for top honours. I am also particularly looking forward to seeing the GP2 cars race round this challenging circuit. Our GP2 engineers have produced a one-off tyre for this round with the aim of giving the drivers the best possible grip for the streets of Monaco. It's going to be a thrilling weekend!"

Tyres for Monaco

The 3.34km Monaco circuit is the only street circuit on the F1 calendar and as such has unique requirements from tyre manufacturers. The track surface is particularly smooth and as a result, the tyres for Monaco need to use compounds from the softer end of the scale in order to be competitive.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager: "Monaco is a very special race. It is run on the only street circuit, as well as the slowest circuit, on the calendar and has lots of tight corners, which means that rear traction out of the corners will be especially important on this circuit. While compounds will be soft for Monaco because of the very smooth nature of the road tarmac, the one set of tyres for qualifying and race rule means that it is likely we will not see compounds as soft as in previous years. We also have to take into account the changing nature of the wear rates of the tyres during the race. We have learnt from previous years that in the early stages, the front tyres have some graining and the wear is higher than on the rear tyres. As the race progresses, however, the wear balance shifts to the rear tyres. So there is plenty to take into consideration when deciding the Bridgestone tyre specifications for Monaco and we had a good test last week with Ferrari at the Fiorano circuit to make sure we have made the right choices. It's going to be a very interesting race."

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Published: 16/05/2005
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