Drivers facing tyre graining challenge

Formula 1 drivers will face as big a challenge of looking after their tyres in the Korean Grand Prix as they did in Canada earlier this year if dusty track conditions do not improve dramatically prior to the race

Drivers facing tyre graining challenge

That is the view of Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone's director of motorsport tyre development, who thinks the challenge of the event will depend entirely on how clean the circuit will be.

"The asphalt itself is quite good and after first practice I checked the track at Turn 1 and Turn 2 and the surface was very stable," Hamashima told AUTOSPORT. "However, there was still a lot of dust on the track and that could be the problem.

"When the dust gets on the racing line, then the grip drops too much. That is causing the graining we have seen - and here it is abnormal because the tyres are graining in two directions. We saw something like that in Abu Dhabi last year, but here it is more severe."

When asked how he expected the track conditions to pan out, Hamashima said: "It depends on the dirt. If there is no dirt, sand or mud on the track, then maybe by qualifying the track will be in a very good conditions so the hard tyre will not have any graining.

"So the best story like that would make the race like Bahrain. But in the worst case, if it is still dusty, then it could maybe be worse than Canada."

Hamashima also said that teams had to be careful in dealing with the tyre pressures for their cars - because of the challenge caused by the long straights at the start of the lap that sees tyre temperatures drop.

"If the people don't keep our recommendations on pressure it will be high risk because it will be very dangerous," he said. "It is just like the old Hockenheim with very long straights, so very difficult to get up the pressure."

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