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Italy preview quotes: Bridgestone

Hiroshi Yasukawa - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport: "Italy is a fabulous country with a rich motor racing heritage. It is a country where Bridgestone has a strong involvement too, as we have a large factory, a sales office, a technical centre and a proving ground located near Rome. We also produce our GP2 Series tyres in Italy. Our proving ground is a state of the art facility and this is where we test our passenger vehicle tyres to the same exacting standards as we test our Formula One tyres. In fact, we even have a former F1 driver working for us as a test driver developing and giving vital feedback to help us make better products."

Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development

What are the challenges of Monza?

"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."

What are the primary tyre performance considerations?

"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. "

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