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Bahrain: Bridgestone preview
Bridgestone will participate in its fourth grand prix in five weeks when the medium and super soft compound Potenza slick tires are used at this weekend's Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, held on 24-26 April.

The allocation for Bahrain is the same as used in the Australian and Chinese races. This is the first time that a Bridgestone super soft compound has been used at the 5.41 km circuit which features a diverse mix of 15 turns.

Bahrain is one of the toughest circuits on brakes visited during the course of the season, and the weather conditions are usually hot and dry. The desert location of the track means that the track surface often has sand on it at the start of the race weekend, with track grip improving as the surface is cleaned by the cars running.

Traction is crucial for finding a good lap time in Bahrain, due to its layout of many tight corners leading to short straights. Tire management skills of teams and drivers will be under scrutiny, as the high traction demands create additional heat in the tires in what is already likely to be hot conditions. Bridgestone's tires will also be seen in action over this weekend for the sixth and final round of the GP2 Asia Series.

Q: What are the challenges of Bahrain?
Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone (Director of Motorsport Tire Development): Bahrain is a technically interesting circuit. The layout means a lot of braking and a lot of accelerating out of low speed corners. Maximizing traction out of the corners is the key to a good lap time, but if a car has less than ideal traction, additional unwanted heat can be created, and this will make matters more difficult for competitors. There is a lot of heavy braking here too, and it will be interesting to see how the different braking characteristics between the KERS and non-KERS cars affects lap times, and also the racing.

Q: How much of a challenge should the tire allocation be in Bahrain?
HH: Tire management and minimizing unnecessary tire heat in what could be very hot conditions are very important considerations here. We have the medium and super soft tires and we expect the medium tire to be very durable. The super soft should present more of a challenge in terms of durability than the medium, however the data from the Bahrain pre-season tests show that this tire can be managed well on this track if the correct set-up is found. Bridgestone Motorsport

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