Bridgestone heads to a new F1 destination as it takes its hard and soft compound Potenza tyres to the first ever Korean Grand Prix next weekend.
The Japanese tyres manufacturer is nearing the end of its time as the sole supplier to the sport, so the all-new Korean International Circuit at Yeongam, near the city of Mokpo, will be provide an exciting challenge as they near the end of their reign.
It also means that the teams and Bridgestone will have to rely on simulation data before taking to the track for the first time on the Friday of the Grand Prix.
Hirohide Hamashima, director of motorsport tyre development for Bridgestone, said: “This Grand Prix presents everyone in Formula one with an interesting challenge as the circuit has only recently been completed.
“This means that we cannot look at any data from races there so we have to rely on simulation data. From this information, the maximum and average speeds will be 310 km/h and 205 km/h respectively. This places the track between Catalunya and Istanbul and close to Sepang in terms of speed, which is an important factor determining the allocation of the hard and soft tyres.
“Korea should be a good test of all of our technology and I expect all the team engineers to be working very hard indeed over the weekend trying to understand the best car set-ups and tyre strategies for the race.
“As it will be the first motor racing event at the facility we expect a lot of track surface evolution over the weekend. It will also be interesting to see how the teams and individual drivers adapt to this track, particularly those in the hunt for the championship battle.”
Hiroshi Yasukawa, director of motorsport for Bridgestone, added: “It is always good when Formula 1 visits a new market and Korea is an exciting economy with strong growth. Bridgestone have a developing presence in this market, however the additional marketing push provided by our presence at the first ever Grand Prix there should be highly beneficial.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team