Tire disparity to be reduced at four GPs
Bridgestone has announced that there will be a smaller than usual gap between its tire compounds in the Hungarian, European, Belgian and Italian Grands Prix.
Normally this year Bridgestone has tried to make the two compounds that must be used in each grand prix "two steps" apart – for instance super soft and medium tires rather than super soft and soft. This system, which was requested by the Formula 1 teams, was designed to create greater variation between cars' performances at different stages, and to encourage better racing. However, the company's motorsport boss Hirohide Hamashima said Bridgestone had decided it would not be practical to have a big tire disparity at the Hungaroring, Valencia, Spa or Monza, so would use compounds just one step apart at those four tracks.
"Hungary is a circuit where the characteristics demand our softest tires," he explained. "This is also true for street courses, and we used the softest allocation earlier in the year at Monaco, and will again in Valencia.
"In Spa, the weather temperatures can be quite cool, so the hard compound could have caused difficulties, and the super soft would have been too soft for this track, so that means the allocation of medium and soft is obvious.
"In Monza the hard compound would have given too big a difference between it and the soft, so we will bring the soft and the medium."
The only time Bridgestone had previously used two similar tire compounds so far this year was in the Monaco GP.