Bridgestone Jerez test review The Jerez race circuit in Spain was the location for Bridgestone Motorsport to begin its three-year tenure as Official Tire Supplier to the FIA Formula One World Championship as nine of Formula One’s eleven teams attended the first test of 2008 on January 14-16. Mixed weather conditions greeted all teams present with BMW Sauber and Honda Racing opting not to attend this test. A mixture of 2007 and 2008 specification cars were tested by a variety of race and test drivers through the field over the three days.
Jerez is the same location as the final multi-team test of last season, and in keeping with the 2008 regulations, teams ran without traction control and used the standard ECU. Bridgestone’s medium compound (dry) Potenza grooved racing tire was in action for the majority of the test, although there were some runs on the Monday morning and on Wednesday with both Bridgestone’s wet and extreme wet tires.
The 2008 season will be the first with Bridgestone as the Official Tire Supplier to the FIA Formula One World Championship, following the excitement of last season where Bridgestone was the sole tire supplier in Formula One due to an absence of competition. This year will be Bridgestone’s twelfth consecutive season in Formula One and the company will reach some milestones during the course of the season.
The European Grand Prix in August, for instance, will be Bridgestone’s 200th Grand Prix. Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tires will be in use next week at the all-team Valencia test on January 22-24. Bridgestone’s medium compound dry grooved tire will be in action once more.
Q&A with Tetsuro Kobayashi – Technical Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport….
What has Bridgestone learnt from this test?
This test was the first of the year after the break and it was good to see the teams back in action, some of which had their new cars. January and February are very much about the teams developing their new cars and we will see a lot of progress in this period. Our tires are essentially the same as provided last season, so the teams already have a good understanding of how they work. Now all the teams have to do is optimize their new cars with our tires, and whoever does this best will have the greatest opportunity when we reach Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix in eight weeks time.
Will there be any changes to the tires Bridgestone brings to Grands Prix this season?
We have yet to announce our allocations for races and there could be some changes from the tire compounds we brought to particular races in 2007. We have made a minor change to the tire construction for all the compounds, but this is more of a refinement than a big difference. We have also adjusted our super soft compound and the difference should be seen in the races where this tire is used.