Bridgestone Korea Hosts Hamilton as F1 Arrives in Country
Bridgestone Korea welcomed McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton to South Korea on Wednesday (20 October) at an autographing and talk show event held in the Seoul Arts Centre. The 2008 FIA Formula One World Champion signed replica Bridgestone podium caps for Bridgestone’s tyre dealers, customers and other invited VIPs. Against the backdrop of a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes show car, which is currently on display as part of the ‘Formula One: The Great Design Race’ exhibition held at the Seoul Arts Centre, Hamilton was also joined by managing director of Bridgestone Korea Tomoya Sano, and director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development, Hirohide Hamashima.
During the talk show Hamilton gave the guests and invited media an insight into his duties over a weekend, the importance of race tyre compound choice and management, as well as giving a few tips to drivers in Korea about safe driving and the importance of regularly checking the pressure and condition of the tyres on their own road cars. Hamilton said: “I’m really happy to be back and it is great to see that we have Formula One in Korea. When I came here many years ago I was not in Formula One so I did not have so many fans, but coming here for the first time as a Formula One driver I was very unaware of just how much support we have here. I think it’s very exciting for Korea to have this Grand Prix.”
In light of Bridgestone’s withdrawal from Formula One at the end of this season Hamilton also said: “I have been working with Bridgestone for many years so I understand the passion that they have, as well as the expertise and innovation with their racing tyres for both wet and dry conditions. It has been a great experience working with Bridgestone, and to see the enthusiasm they have had in Formula One for the last few years when they have had great success. It has been a great privilege working with Bridgestone as they are such a great brand. I have Bridgestone tyres on my road car and I’ve never had problems with them and I’m hoping that even when they leave Formula One they can still continue to supply me with road tyres.”
Sano was delighted to host Hamilton and took the opportunity to highlight the importance of the arrival of Formula One to Korea: “We have been waiting for this moment for a very long time and now the dream comes true with the Korean Grand Prix. This is a very important event and a great opportunity for Bridgestone in Korea to be able to show that Bridgestone is the Official Tyre Supplier to the world’s premier single-seater racing series. We expect that many people will watch the race on television and see the strong Bridgestone branding at the circuit.”