Reflections

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Comparing tire paint, the tire on the left has the reflective paint, while the tire on the right has the standard paint.

Bridgestone announced today that they would use a special paint on the striping of the option compound and extreme wet tires at the upcoming GP in Singapore next weekend.

“We are using a special paint for Singapore,” explains Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone’s director of motorsport tyre development. “We don’t believe this will make any difference to the racing, but for the spectators and the media it should make it a little easier to tell which of our tyres are being used.”

Singapore will be the 2nd venue this season to host their first ever GP weekend. (Valencia was the other, and they’re both street courses)

“There are different factors we look at when deciding tyre allocation and in particular we look at the track layout, the track surface and the temperatures we are likely to encounter,” says Hamashima. “In advance of a race at a new destination we send out a team of engineers to laser scan the surface. Scans are taken all the way around a lap and this information is then analysed to give us a good idea of how the track surface should react with our tyres.”

“Where there have been race meetings before at a facility, we can get an idea of how tyres react with the circuit, even if Bridgestone tyres were not used at the race,” says Hamashima. “Before the European Grand Prix in Valencia there was a race meeting, so we could form a general picture of racing there, but in Singapore it will be all-new for everyone, so this could be an additional challenge.” “We have looked at many different aspects regarding a race taking place at night and we have no specific concerns, Bridgestone have good experience in endurance motor races which run at night so this has been useful.

“The temperatures will be cooler than during the day and there will be no heat generated from the sun’s radiation, but we predict an ambient and track temperature of around 27 degrees Celsius, which is warmer than some tracks we visit during the day. Ultimately, the way the tyre works at night will be the same as it works during the day.”

“A lot of work takes place after the sessions so we will be working very late, and this will be an exciting aspect of the weekend,” says Hamashima. “Because of this we will be starting our days a lot later than we would usually, so it will be the first time we have had official lie-ins on a Formula One weekend!”

Don’t forget, the Inagural Singapore Grand Prix is next weekend (September 26-28)!

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