Bridgestone to Mark 200th Grand Prix at New Venue
Bridgestone is set to celebrate its 200th appearance in Formula One at this weekend’s European Grand Prix, which will take place on the streets of Valencia for the first time. Having debuted in 1997 at the Australian Grand Prix, Bridgestone – now the sport’s sole tyre provider – is looking forward to the challenge of dealing with the freshly completed street circuit, and has announced that it will provide teams with the two softest available compounds.
Speaking to Formula One’s official website, the director of Bridgestone Motorsport tyre development, Hirohide Hamashima said that the Japanese supplier expected grip levels to increase over the course of the weekend in line with other street races. With temperatures likely to be high, it will be important for Bridgestone, and indeed the teams themselves, to monitor tyres closely, as the race will be “a learning process for everyone involved”.
All of this makes for an intriguing weekend, in which tyre strategies will come under intense scrutiny, especially considering the proximity of the leaders of the Drivers’ Championship.