Germany: Bridgestone preview

Bridgestone returns to the circuit of Nurburgring after a year's absence where the medium and super soft compound Bridgestone Potenza tires will be used for the German Grand Prix on July 10-12. Last year's race in Germany took place at Hockenheim, so this will be an interesting return to the venue which provided a very exciting wet weather race in 2007. The medium and super soft allocation is the same as used earlier this season in Australia, China and Bahrain.

This is a location which has good historical importance for Bridgestone. The first major European race win on Bridgestone tires occurred here on the Nordschleife circuit in April 1981, when Thierry Boutsen crossed the line first in his BMW-powered March 812 in the Formula 2 championship.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Bridgestone (Director):
“Germany is a good market for Bridgestone and one where we experience high levels of brand awareness. Our participation in Formula One has played a big part in building this brand awareness and we always have strong support in the home country of so many major motor manufacturers. We are always happy to return to a venue which has rich history for us in the early days of Bridgestone's motorsport participation."

Q: What are the challenges of the Nurburgring?
Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone (Director of Tire Development): The Nurburgring circuit features an interesting mixture of very fast, medium fast and slow corners, so finding the correct set-up compromise is a challenge for competitors. Our tire allocation of the medium and super soft Bridgestones should mean exciting racing. Sectors one and three are more demanding on tire grip, traction and braking performance than in the middle sector, and it is an exciting undulating circuit. The first corner, which has a variety of racing lines, and the chicane provide good overtaking opportunities. Braking balance is also important here and care has to be taken not to lock-up and flat-spot the tires when slowing.

Q: Are there particular weather considerations?
HH: Last time we visited this circuit there was a very exciting wet weather race. The location of the Nurburgring, in the Eifel region of Germany, does often present unpredictable weather. The time of year should mean quite hot weather, but we have previously seen quite cool temperatures there, even in the summer. When we look back on Bridgestone's history at the Nurburgring, we've even seen snow on a DTM race weekend in April, so we never know quite what to expect! Source: Bridgestone Motorsport

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