Bridgestone has admitted that taking the soft compound Potenza to this weekend's European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring could be something of a gamble, given that it has not been tested at the Eifel circuit in summer conditions.

Although most of western Europe is hardly in the grip of high summer, the tyre company is concerned that the choice may be a bit too adventurous for the potential temperatures, as recent Nurburgring events have generally been held in the cooler conditions of spring. Despite describing the weekend as 'a challenge', however, head of track engineering operations Kees van de Grint is confident that both chosen compounds will be able to operate in a wide temperature range.

"The biggest challenge is our decision to bring the soft compound Potenza, as all our experience is based on this circuit in the spring," he confirmed, "We will have to see if our predictions are correct. I can't remember the last time we tested at the Nurburgring, and this means that our only chance to confirm our tyre choice is at the race itself. It means that teams also have less data to work from. The Eifel region can produce unpredictable weather, so it's a little bit of an unknown for us. I believe we've made the right choice, but you never know with the Nurburgring!"

The German circuit, which is now alternating dates with Hockenheim, features a mix of very fast, medium fast and slow corners which require something of a compromise when it comes to set-up and the current demand that each driver use the two compounds on offer - in this case the soft and medium - means that there could be some head-scratching during practice.

"After the flat of Silverstone, we now have the undulations of the Nurburgring which reflect the Eifel region in which it is based," van de Grint continued, "We know the circuit pretty well, but tyre grip, traction and braking performance are all of great importance, especially in sectors one and three.

"BMW Sauber were at the Nurburgring earlier this season, but any data collected from Nick Heidfeld's laps on the 20.8km Nordschleife is not very useful for the forthcoming race. It would make me worry if Heidfeld took eight minutes to complete a lap for the grand prix!"

 

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