Bridgestone Motorsport has revealed that it will be supplying the GP2 Series with softer compound tyres this season, in an effort to make racing both more challenging and exciting.
Of the ten locations on the 2009 calendar, the allocation will alter by one position on the team's range at Barcelona, Istanbul, Valencia and Spa, while the Nurburgring - which returns to the calendar after a year away - will see its tyres alter one position over those used in 2007. Monaco, Silverstone and Monza will have no change to their allocations, while the season finale at the new Autodromo do Algarve is something of an unknown as the series has never raced there before.
The compound range for 2009 will again consist of medium, soft and supersoft compounds but, while the medium remains the same as that used in 2008, both the soft and supersoft compounds have been modified from those used in 2008.
“Tyre management is a crucial skill for any young driver so, by making our compound allocations softer, we are bringing this skill to the fore in the GP2 Series," director of motorsport tyre development Hirohide Hamashima commented, "We have worked with the GP2 Series organisers and changed our soft and supersoft compounds to allow a greater amount of progressive degradation, which will mean more exciting racing and make tyre management a primary focus for the drivers.
"We are proud to be associated with the GP2 Series and lessons learnt by drivers here are very applicable to Formula One, where two different tyre compounds are used in each race. Any F1 driver who struggles to adapt to this year's slick tyres will be looking over their shoulders at the upcoming talent in the GP2 Series who are showing good use of their Bridgestone slicks.”
Barcelona, Istanbul, Silverstone and Monza will all utilise the medium compound Potenza in 2009, while the Nurburgring, Valencia, Spa-Francorchamps and the Algarve will all see the 'soft' in action. Only Monaco and Budapest will feature the supersoft tyre.