Bridgestone 2008 Singapore GP Preview

9776Bridgestone Motorsport heads to the new destination of Singapore and sees the first ever Grand Prix at night for the fifteenth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Singtel Singapore Grand Prix.

For the event, Singapore has an all-new 5.067km street course which weaves its way through the Marina Bay area of the sovereign city state. This is the fifth and final time that Formula One takes to a street course this season and Bridgestone’s soft and super soft tyres will be used there.

Singapore Tyre (Left) compare to normal tyreThe circuit will provide drivers with some exciting challenges. Slow, medium and high speed corners can all be found in the course of a lap, whilst the maximum speeds are predicted to be in the region of 300kph.

As if learning a new race circuit was not enough of a challenge, the Singapore Grand Prix will take place at night and this will be the first time in history that a Formula One race has not taken place in daylight. The circuit will be artificially lit, but nevertheless it will be a voyage into the unknown for the drivers. Bridgestone has applied extra reflective markings to the tyres to differentiate the two compounds of dry tyres and the two types of wet weather tyres, with both the super soft and extreme wet tyres being marked.

Hirohide Hamashima – Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, said:

What are the interesting aspects of the Singapore street course?
“The layout looks challenging and we have not seen any races on the circuit so teams will be relying solely on their simulations before cars take to the track. As with any street course, we expect finding grip to be the focus for many and the grip level to change over the weekend. The circuit layout looks interesting and this will be a very exciting, unique race track.”

What special considerations are there for a night race?
“We have looked at many different aspects regarding a race taking place at night and we have no specific concerns. Bridgestone have good experience in endurance motor races which run at night so this has been useful. The temperatures will be cooler than during the day and there will be no heat generated from the sun’s radiation, but we predict an ambient and track temperature of around 27 degrees Celsius, which is warmer than some tracks we visit during the day. Ultimately, the way the tyre works at night will be the same as it works during the day.”

Stats & Facts
Number & Spec of tyres brought to Singapore 2,000 (wet/extreme wets and soft & super soft dry)

Valencia bridge woes

F1 s tyre supplier Bridgestone are reported to have asked the FIA to examine the bridge section at Valencia track over fears that it might cause punctures.

The circuit at Valencia sees the cars run over a swing bridge. There is a small gap in the asphalt where the metal expansion joint is to allow the joint to expand and contract without causing any damage. However it is not the gap itself that is the cause for concern for this weekend there are concerns that the sections of asphalt either side of the joint are at different levels and this might cause a puncture, particularly when the cars run with the super-soft tyre compound.

According to Autosport, the asphalt on the bridge is as much as 15 millimetres higher than the asphalt off the bridge and this difference in height has caused Bridgestone to ask the FIA to look into the situation. Bridgestone s head of motor sport tyre development, Hirohide Hamashima, has reportedly written a letter to race director Charlie Whiting asking him to look at the bridge section with a possible view to levelling the track ahead of the race.

Bridgestone reveal tyre allocations for final four races

Bridgestone have revealed the compound allocations for the last four rounds of 2008 F1 season.

Singapore, Formula One s first ever night race, will see the super soft and soft compound; The Japanese Grand Prix will see the medium and soft compounds; Hard and medium compounds will be used at the Chinese Grand Prix; Medium and soft compounds will be taken to the final race of the season in Brazil.

“After eleven races this season we can now confirm our tyre allocations for the final four races of the year,” Hirohide Hamashima, Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development, explained. “This will be the first time for Formula One in Singapore and we will bring the soft and super soft compounds for this interesting new street course.

“High grip will be required at this track which is the primary reason for our choice. In Japan and China we will use the same compounds as we used in 2007. For Brazil we have moved a step harder in our allocation range.

“This race can be very hot, as we saw last year, and our data from the thrilling final race of last season showed us that this change would be beneficial for the teams.”