Straight from the excitement at Fuji Speedway, Bridgestone heads to the highly technical and challenging Shanghai International Circuit for the Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix, round seventeen of the FIA Formula One World Championship.
There’s no chance for any rest for Bridgestone Motorsport, as they leave Japan straight for China with the Chinese Grand Prix taking place on 17-19 October. Shanghai is one of the more recent circuits on the calendar, a grand prix first took place here in 2004 on the Hermann Tilke designed track, and it has numerous challenges over its 5.451km.
Shanghai has two long straights and sixteen corners of varying types. Heavy braking, extreme lateral loads and high demands on traction are just some of the factors that Bridgestone’s hard and medium compound Potenza tyres will encounter.
Turns 2 and 7 are likely to induce tyre graining, whilst the high lateral G-forces generated through the sequence of turns 7-8 will place strong demands on the tyres’ construction and heat durability. A two stop pit strategy has been the favoured option in the past, as running with a heavy car as required for a one-stop strategy is likely to be very detrimental to lap times and cause heavier wear on the tyres. There is an element of gradient changes over the course of a lap as well as an element of banking in turn 13.
Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, said:
What challenges does Shanghai present?
“The Shanghai International Circuit is very severe on tyres and that is why we are bringing the two hardest compounds from our range. There are very high lateral forces and we expect to see graining on the front left tyres, especially caused by the increasing radius turn two and the banked turn thirteen. We could also see graining on the rear tyres here too. The circuit layout means that a medium downforce set-up will be used, as there are two long straights, but a large percentage of the track is also very twisty and technical. For the teams and drivers, finding the correct set-up to make the best use of their tyres will be a big challenge.”