This weekend in Germany Bridgestone are trying something a little different with their tyre allocations, choosing to bring their hard and super soft compounds to the Hockenheim circuit, which represent the two extremes of their dry tyre range.
The Japanese company’s policy so far this season has to leave a one compound gap in the series when allocating the tyres that they will bring to each track. However, the characteristics of Hockenheim, which has many high speed sections but a low speed end to the lap, means that a larger gap can be left in this weekend’s tyre allocation.
The last time slick tyres saw the Hockenheim tarmac was back in 2007, when the drivers took a very fast scenic route through the German forest. These days the track has changed, mainly for safety reasons, and Bridgestone’s Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, Hirohide Hamashima, knows that this layout presents some interesting challenges for drivers, teams, and Bridgestone.
“The circuit layout features a long left hander before the hairpin where it is important to have good stability,” explains Hamashima. “After the hairpin, there are strong traction demands on the rear tyres. Elsewhere, a good overall balance is required.
“We have a unique opportunity with the nature of the Hockenheim circuit allowing us to bring the softest and the hardest tyres from our range. This should provide a challenge for everyone and should be interesting.
“The weather will play a factor too. If it is hot then the super soft will be a challenge to manage for stability and durability. If it is cold then ensuring the hard is in its temperature operating window will be a tough task.”