Bridgestone are bringing hard and soft tyres to the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend.
The track is quite harsh on tyres which means that the hard and soft compound allocation will be rolled out, instead of the super-soft and medium partnership which has dominated the races so far this season.
Hirohide Hamashima, tyre development director for Bridgestone, said: “Barcelona has a track surface that is the middle range in terms of abrasion and roughness, but durability and driver requirements mean our harder allocation combination is used.
“The front left tyre has a lot of work to do at this circuit and equally, teams and drivers will have a big challenge trying to gain an advantage here as they know this track so well.”
The Spanish Grand Prix is the first of nine European races and is said to be the real litmus test for the FIA’s brave new rules to promote overtaking in F1.
The slick tyres, the cartoon rear wings, the oversize front wings will all get the ultimate test at the Circuit de Catalunya this weekend.
It has a number of high-speed corners and is a circuit where drivers need to find the perfect balance to look after their tyres.
Many of the teams used the Circuit de Catalunya for testing in February, but weather conditions will be different, which may make the data gathered irrelevant.
Hirohide said: “The ambient and track temperatures are likely to be warmer than testing so this will have an effect.
“Generally, we see quite close lap times here and close races too. The circuit layout is well balanced so it is a good indicator of overall car balance. A car that performs in Barcelona has the potential to perform well at many places.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team