The three-week summer shutdown is over and the Formula One show is back on the road and heading to the Spa Francorchamps circuit for the Belgium Grand Prix.
Bridgestone are taking their hard and soft Potenza tyres to the hills of the Ardennes for the 13th race of the season.
Tyres will play a key role in the longest race lap of the season over the ‘rollercoaster’ circuit that presents cars and drivers with a severe test.
Hirohide Hamashima, director of motorsport tyre development for Bridgestone, said: “Spa Francorchamps is a circuit with many secrets.
“It is the longest circuit of the season, and there are many different characteristics to it. Tyres are put put under big loads here, and the circuit is too punishing for the use of our super soft tyre.
“Eau Rouge and sector two are particularly punishing. Despite the high speeds we see, the requirements of a lap mean that relatively high downforce configurations are used on the cars, placing the tyres under even higher loads.”
He added: “The change from downhill to uphill through Eau Rouge puts the tyres under severe compression forces at high speed added to the downforce and inertia loads, so tyre pressures need to be carefully determined and monitored.
“The weather is often a factor, especially as you can see track temperatures ranging from 10C to 40C. Fain can come very quickly here because of the forest location, so this is another factor to consider.
“Spa seldom gives us a dull race, and I hope we will have an enjoyable final visit here.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team