Bridgestone Italian GP2 Preview

The Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series heads to the destination of Monza for the finale of the thrilling fourth season of the championship which provides the Formula One drivers of tomorrow. Monza is a motor racing destination steeped in history and the 5.79km Autodromo Nazionale Monza is located in picturesque parkland in Monza town, 20km from Milan in north Italy. The track features long straights and fast corners, punctuated by chicanes to slow the high speeds attained.

It is a circuit which will put Bridgestone’s medium compound GP2 Series tyres through their paces. High speeds with high loadings through the corners, allied to the high temperatures often experienced, mean that drivers will have to work hard to look after their tyres and extract the best performance. Last season in Monza, Giorgio Pantano (Campos) and Timo Glock (iSport) took a win apiece. Pantano, who is something of a Monza specialist, will be in action once more, driving for Racing Engineering whilst reigning champion Glock will be in action in the main game, Formula One, for Panasonic Toyota Racing.

Heading to Monza, Giorgio Pantano (Racing Engineering) leads the championship with 71 points from Bruno Senna (iSport) on 60. Lucas di Grassi (Campos) is in third place on 53 points, whilst Romain Grosjean has the same number of points in fourth position. It is mathematically possible for any of these four drivers to take the drivers’ title in Monza with 20 points available from the race weekend. The teams’ championship is now led by Campos with 93 points, from iSport, who move into second place with 91 points. Piquet Sports are in third position with 80 points. With a maximum of 33 points available for a team over a race weekend, any of the top five teams could win the title in Monza.

Quote from Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development

“Monza is one of the fastest circuits on the GP2 calendar. Typically at this track high wear occurs on the left hand side tyres due to lateral forces, particularly in the last corner and turn three, which are fast, long turns. Overheating of the tyres can be an issue for the drivers and once this happens they lose grip and as a result can not reach good top speeds through these two difficult corners, so drivers need to preserve their tyres. The circuit also requires hard braking, mainly at turn one which is the chicane waiting for the drivers at the end of the long straight, and turns four and eight. Monza is a great city to host the GP2 finale and the circuit will provide competitive racing as the 2008 championship comes to a close on the Bridgestone tyres, produced in Rome.”

Stats & Facts

Number & Spec of tyres for Monza: 760 (medium dry & wets)Pole position time 2007: 1min 30.546secs – G Pantano (Campos)Fastest race lap 2007: 1min 31.442secs – G Pantano (Campos)Top three 2007 race 1: G Pantano (Campos), L Filippi (Super Nova), T Glock (iSport)Top three 2007 race 2: T Glock (iSport), L Filippi (Super Nova), B Senna (Arden)

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