Tire talk with
January 26, 2003
Tire talk with Bridgestone -- conducted with Hisao Suganuma, Technical
Manager Bridgestone Motorsport
Q: Firstly, are you happy with the development direction Bridgestone
has taken during the winter?
Yes, of course. We have analyzed last years results and tried to
clarify our strengths and weaknesses so we can solve any problems from
a development point of view. We have done a lot of testing and we're
pleased with the results so far. We believe we will be competitive
again this year.
Q: Bridgestone has worked closely with the Ferrari team over the past
years with outstanding results. How important is it that Bridgestone's
working relationships with its other teams progress in the same
If you work with one team too much your development direction can go
wrong sometimes. We need our other teams to confirm our development
direction. Our philosophy is that it's very important to work with
Q: Since Bridgestone started its testing for 2003, the rules have
changed and tire suppliers are now permitted to produce tires tailored
to each of its teams. How much more work has this created for
Bridgestone and how has it affected the testing program?
Our basic intention is to develop one very good tire that will perform
well on all cars. So we first concentrate on our best specification
and then see how it performs with the teams. If we need to adjust it,
then we can.
Q: Traction control will not be permitted from half way through the
season this year ie from Silverstone GP. What effect will that have on
Bridgestone and the tires it will supply?
This is only very recent news. Our current tires have been developed
for running with traction control. Compared to previous years, say
2001, our compound now is probably a bit softer so we may need to go
harder with the compound. But it is difficult to say at the moment as
the durability of our compounds has improved. At some stage though, we
will try to run without traction control to see the effects on our
Q: If you need to adjust the compound, does this mean you will be
running two parallel test programs until Silverstone?
No, I don't think so. We know what we used at Silverstone last year so
we can adjust accordingly.
Q: What about construction of the tires?
We probably won't need to adjust the construction. The construction
gives the car balance and once a car is balanced with one
construction, then it should be balanced without traction control.
Q: Perhaps the biggest change is a single wet weather tire. How far
have you progressed with a wet weather tire?
This is a big issue for us. A big issue as in, a big challenge because
that is what motivates us from an engineers point of view. It will be
tough but enjoyable. However, it is very difficult to make one super
wet weather tire to cover the whole range from wet to damp conditions.
We need to search which range to concentrate on for our tires.
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