Tyre suppliers happy with Barcelona surface 05 May 2005
The Circuit de Catalunya has been totally resurfaced since last years Spanish Grand Prix, meaning Michelin and Bridgestone have had to re-evaluate their data in preparation for this weekends race. However, both are confident they have the measure of the track.
"We will be dealing with some new characteristics this year, said Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director. We completed lots of test laps here during the winter and found the asphalt much less abrasive than it used to be.
This means that all the teams are likely to using a softer range of compounds than they were previously used to, though the Spanish circuit is still going to be a stern test of their tyres.
"Barcelona is now smoother than in previous years but it is still a hard wearing track from a tyre point of view, said Hisao Suganuma, Bridgestones technical manager. The number of high speed corners and undulating nature of the circuit make it hard on the brakes and tyres.
Among the other factors the tyre makers will have to take into consideration in Barcelona will be the revised car set-ups the teams will be using under the 2005 regulations and the specific fuel requirements of the Spanish circuit.
"Engineers run cars with a relatively high degree of downforce, explained Dupasquier. Although this helps the tyres to generate more grip, it increases the demands imposed on the sidewalls through the higher-speed corners. Last but not least, fuel loads are more influential here than at many other circuits - every 10kg equates to about 0.4 seconds per lap."