Formula One lap times are expected to slow down by two seconds next season due to the introduction of harder compound Bridgestone tyres, autosport.com has learned.
The withdrawal of Michelin at the end of this year leaves Bridgestone as the only tyre supplier, and the Japanese manufacturer will use the opportunity to supply less aggressive rubber than it has done while being involved in a tyre war.
Bridgestone's technical manager Hisao Suganuma has told autosport.com that the company has now settled on the type of tyre it will use. This will be an older style of construction with a harder compound than has been used this season.
"We more or less have some idea of which type of tyre we are going to supply, and we are now starting to think about how we can do the testing," explained Suganuma.
"Compared to this year's compounds, it will be hard. It is an older construction with some modifications. I think it will be about two seconds (per lap) slower."
Discussions between teams and Bridgestone are continuing about the idea of running 'option' tyres in the race.
"We are not sure if that will happen or not," he said. "If the team can use both types of tyre then we are not wasting our resources, because we do not want to throw away half of our products after the race.
"Whatever happens, the teams will have two types of tyre, so we could decide just before the start of the season, if all the teams are able to agree."
Subscribe to Autosport Plus
Register for free