Bridgestone step into the unknown as F1 moves to Korea


Bridgestone anticipate an ‘interesting’ race this weekend in Korea as both they and the teams are forced to rely purely on simulation data at the brand new Yeongam circuit.

“This Grand Prix presents everyone in Formula one with an interesting challenge as the circuit has only recently been completed,” said Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development. “This means that we cannot look at any data from races there so we have to rely on simulation data.

“From this information, the maximum and average speeds will be 310 km/h and205 km/h respectively. This places the track between Catalunya and Istanbul and close to Sepang interms of speed, which is an important factor determining the allocation of the hard and soft tyres.

“Korea should be a good test of all of our technology and I expect all the team engineers to be working very hard indeed over the weekend trying to understand the best car set-ups and tyre strategies for the race. As it will be the first motor racing event at the facility we expect a lot of track surface evolution over theweekend.

“It will also be interesting to see how the teams and individual drivers adapt to this track, particularly those in the hunt for the championship battle.”

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Bridgestone Motorsport, recognises the commercial importance of visiting Korea. “It is always good when Formula 1 visits a new market and Korea is an exciting economy with strong growth,” he explains. “Bridgestone have a developing presence in this market, however the additional marketing pushprovided by our presence at the first ever Grand Prix there should be highly beneficial. Congratulationsto Korea for welcoming Formula 1. We are looking forward to seeing the Yeongam facility for the first time and meeting many Korean Formula 1 fans.”