Bridgestone has confirmed that it does not intend to make any radical alterations to its tyre supply for next season's Formula One world championship.

The Japanese company became the category's sole supplier in 2007, following Michelin's decision to pull out a year ahead of schedule, but, according to head of motorsport tyre development Hirohide Hamashima the decisions taken this year will need only a little fine-tuning for 2008.

"The biggest change for Bridgestone has been adapting to supplying all eleven of the teams in the pit-lane, compared to the five we supplied the year before, and ensuring that we are fair in our supply to all of these teams," he reflected, "This fairness needed to be more than just in our supply of our tyres, but also in our supply of information and technical service.

"As we saw in pre-season testing, it was not only the teams we supplied previously who were quick on our tyres, but also teams who previously used our competitor's tyres as well. This continued during the season and we have seen three teams who have been very competitive, two of which used our rival's tyres last year."

With the F1 regulations mandating two compounds of dry tyre this season, and requiring each driver to use both types during a race, there were some difficult choices for Bridgestone to make with regard to fitting tyres to circuits, but Hamashima appears content that his technicians got it right more often than not.

"We are reasonably happy with our allocation for 2007 and the results we saw with them, but there are always areas where we can improve," he acknowledged, "There is a small possibility that we may change the allocation of some of the tyre compounds for certain grands prix, but we will review the season's data first before making any decisions.

"For example, the super-soft compound did not perform as expected in Canada, and we are considering the possibility of modifying this compound for next season. Equally, there is the alternative that we could bring the soft and medium compounds to these circuits instead. Also, in Turkey, we noted the stress level on the front right tyre was higher than we expected. To prevent any problems there in 2008, we are looking at modifying the construction of the dry tyre in the interests of safety.

"However, we are still expecting to provide four dry tyres with varying compound levels from hard to super-soft, along with one wet weather tyre and one extreme weather tyre. These tyres will generally be the same as this year. We are, of course, reviewing all the data from the year to see if any minor adjustments need to be made but, at this stage, we are not expecting to make any big changes to the specifications."

Hamashima also remained convinced that one of the bigger technical changes for 2008 - the removal of traction control - would not cause any headaches when it came to picking tyres.

"Changing the regulations to have no traction control could make the difference between cars and drivers greater than we've seen this season, but we will have to see how teams and drivers adapt to this new situation," he opined, "In terms of the differences this will make to the tyres, the difference will not be that great."

 

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