By Alex Kapadia
Slick tyres will return to Hockenheim for the first time in 13 years as the German Grand Prix weekend gets under way.
Hirohide Hamashima, director of motorsport tyre development for Bridgestone tyres, said: “This will be the first time that we have raced at Hockenheim with slicks since 1997, and the circuit configuration then was very different.
“The circuit layout features a long left hander before the hairpin where it is important to have good stability. After the hairpin, there are strong traction demands on the rear tyres. Elsewhere, a good overall balance is required.
“We have a unique opportunity with the nature of the Hockenheim circuit allowing us to bring the softest and the hardest tyres from our range. This should provide a challenge for everyone and should be interesting.
“The weather will play a factor too. If it is hot then the super soft will be a challenge to manage for stability and durability. If it is cold then ensuring the hard is in its temperature operating window will be a tough task.”
Hiroshi Yasukawa, director of motorsport for Bridgestone, added: “Germany is one of the biggest and most important automotive markets in Europe, so it is imperative that Bridgestone has a strong presence here.”
He went on: “We have recently seen a significant increase in the television audience figures as there are several German drivers this year, and of course the return of Michael Schumacher has had a positive impact.
“I am also interested to see the effects of bringing the hard and super soft compounds to this race.”