Bridgestone will be throwing their medium and soft tyres into the mix at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend.
The 13th race of the season takes place at the high speed circuit of Monza just north of Milan – and it won’t just be the tyres that feel the heat as the title challenge hots up.
Hirohide Hamashima, director of motorsport tyre development for Bridgestone, said: “Monza has very high speed straights so there will be a lot of forces through the tyres as they rotate at up to 50 times per second.
“This means the tyre rubber can get very hot, even with the cooling effect of the wind on the long straights.
“At the end of the pit straight there is a heavy braking zone, so drivers have to be careful not to lock their brakes here. Low downforce car set-ups are used at Monza, so proportionally more reliance is made on mechanical grip.”
Mr Hamashima added: “As we saw in Spa the allocation of the medium and the soft compound tyres has the potential to provide interesting results.
“The medium compound is the softest of our higher temperature working range tyres and the soft is the hardest of our lower temperature working range tyres. This means that their overall performance can be very similar, however their characteristics are different.
“In Spa we saw that different tyres suited different car characteristics, set-ups and driver preference, so maybe it will be the same situation in Monza, however it is a more severe circuit so good tyre management is likely to be a bigger factor.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team