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Bridgestone offers to help Pirelli

Bridgestone director of motorsport tyre development Hirohide Hamashima says his company will willingly help F1 tyre-supplying successor Pirelli should the Italian manufacturer so desire
Departing F1 tyre-supplier Bridgestone has generously offered to help out successor Pirelli by way of advice and engineers – as Force India ace Adrian Sutil warned of what would likely be a 'challenging' transition year ahead for the Milan-based manufacturer.

Pirelli will rejoin the grand prix grid in 2011 for the first time in precisely two decades, after Bridgestone made the surprise announcement late last year that it would be withdrawing at the end of the 2010 campaign – and now the Japanese marque has pledged to share the wealth of experience that it has gained over the past 14 seasons, should its Italian rival be keen to listen.

“We had the advantage that we could enter step-by-step, because Goodyear was still there,” Bridgestone director of motorsport tyre development Hirohide Hamashima is quoted as having said by Etyres.co.uk, reflecting on his company's arrival in the top flight back in 1997. “First we had only one top team, then two and so on. For Pirelli it's different, because they immediately have to equip the entire field, which will be very difficult.

“So far Pirelli has not asked for advice, because engineers are very proud, especially when it comes to the competition – but if Pirelli would like to make use of some of our employees, it would be our pleasure. We have built up very good contacts with the teams and I would not want there to be a big confusion. The transition of Bridgestone to Pirelli should run as smoothly as is possible.”

Whilst initial tyre-testing of the 2011 PZero compounds by experienced former BMW-Sauber star and Mercedes Grand Prix reserve driver Nick Heidfeld has yielded some promising results and data [see separate story – click here], Sutil contends that to begin with at least, teething troubles may be inevitable.

“I see it being a challenging year,” the 27-year-old German told Spox.com. “It's understandable that as a new tyre manufacturer, you need to collect your experience. It's going to be one or two years until Pirelli supplies the perfect tyre, but it's the same for everyone, so everyone has to cope with the situation. That makes it exciting.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Thursday, Press conference, Adrian Sutil (GER), Force India F1 Team, VJM03
Thursday, Pirelli
Pirelli confirms 2011 F1 tyre offer
Nick Heidfeld. Pirelli`s first tyre test. Mugello. August 2010. [Pic credit: Pirelli]
Thursday, Pirelli
Thursday, Pirelli
Drivers Sign Bridgestone 200th Grand Prix Tyre, Valencia F1 Grand Prix, 22nd-24th, August 2008
Hirohide Hamashima, head of motorsport tyre development, Bridgestone [Pic credit: Bridgestone]
25.06.2017 - Race, Nikki Lauda (AU), Mercedes and Mario Isola (ITA), Pirelli Racing Manager
24.06.2017 - Qualifying, (L-R) Charles Leclerc (MON) PREMA Racing, Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) Test Driver, Scuderia Ferrari and Pierre Gasly (FRA) Red Bull Racing, Test driver
24.06.2017 - Qualifying, Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) Test Driver, Scuderia Ferrari
24.06.2017 - Qualifying, Charles Leclerc (MON) PREMA Racing and Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) Test Driver, Scuderia Ferrari
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 2, Pierre Gasly (FRA) Red Bull Racing, Test driver
22.06.2017 - Pirelli Tyres of McLaren MCL32
11.06.2017, Paul Hembery (GBR) Pirelli Motorspor Director
10.06.2017- Mario Isola (ITA), Sporting Director Pirelli
09.06.2017- Free Practice 2, Nick Chester (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team Chassis Technical Director
09.06.2017- Pirelli tires and OZ Wheels and Pirelli Tyres

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