2000 tires for Silverstone…did they get it right?

Silverstone, host of the British Grand Prix this weekend, has changed. It has been arranged differently and the verdict is still out for the F1 crowd. Some journalists have been given rides around the new circuit and have been Tweeting their comments suggesting a lot of passing, good layout, exciting racing but it still remains to be seen. The new Loop section in particualr has everyone’s interest piqued.

Bridgestone is interested as well and have suggested that the new circuit layout will be even harder on tires than it already is. Large lateral loads and higher average speeds. Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, says:

“We know Silverstone very well from so many races here in the past, however now we have the challenge of a new layout. The track was previously one of the most severe for the tyres in terms of layout and circuit roughness on the calendar. The new layout, if anything, makes it more punishing, and certainly too severe to bring our super soft compound. The additional straight means that the average speed should be higher than before. Entering the new section, the right hand turn at Abbey should create high lateral forces. With Bridgestone’s unique position of supplying both Formula 1 and MotoGP we were able to validate a lot of our predictions of this new layout at the recent British MotoGP round so we are quite confident looking to this race. We are hopeful of a good spectacle with the soft and hard compound tyres and certainly will learn a lot from the new configuration.”

The super soft and medium combination that gave us “exciting racing” in Canada won’t be used at Silverstone for safety reasons but if the track, heavily endorsed by British journalists, is as good as they Tweet it is; then we won’t need tire gimmicks to “spice up the show”.

I’m not one to wrinkle my nose at change but I really liked the old Silverstone layout. On paper, the new layout looks good as well and the MotoGP race fared well there although many were not impressed. This actually could be a good thing as perhaps the circuit lends itself more to cars than bikes. I hope, for everyone’s sake, that Sarah Holt and Byron young aren’t carrying water for the BRDC today via Twitter and that the loop and new section is a good as they say it is. Bridgestone is bringing 2000 Hard, soft, intermediate/wets to make sure it is anyway.

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