By Alex Kapadia
Bridgestone is bringing its hard and soft tyres to the newly configured Silverstone track for the British Grand Prix this weekend.
As Formula 1 hits the halfway mark of the season, the tyres will have to get to grips with the third longest track of the season.
The race will take place over the 5.90km track and the new configuration at Silverstone is expected to be one of the fasted circuits of the year.
The high speeds and high lateral forces caused by the circuit layout and the abrasion from the track surface mean that it will be a severe test for Bridgestone’s tyres.
Hirohide Hamashima, director of motorsport tyre development for Bridgestone, said: “We know Silverstone very well from so many races here in the past, however now we have the challenge of a new layout.
“The track was previously one of the most severe for the tyres in terms of layout and circuit roughness on the calendar. The new layout, if anything, makes it more punishing, and certainly too severe to bring our super soft compound.
“The additional straight means that the average speed should be higher than before. Entering the new section, the right hand turn at Abbey should create high lateral forces.
“With Bridgestone’s unique position of supplying both Formula 1 and MotoGP we were able to validate a lot of our predictions of this new layout at the recent British MotoGP round so we are quite confident looking to this race.
“We are hopeful of a good spectacle with the soft and hard compound tyres and certainly will learn a lot from the new configuration.”
Hiroshi Yasukawa, director of motorsport for Bridgestone, added: “The British Grand Prix is one of the most famous on the calendar and we are pleased to be visiting Silverstone once more.
“Bridgestone Motorsport is based in Langley, near Heathrow, so this is a home Grand Prix for us. I am happy that Formula 1 will experience the new circuit layout that Bridgestone recently enjoyed with the British MotoGP race.
“Bridgestone UK is a very supportive market of our F1 programme and will enjoy a range of activities there.”