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Minor refinements for Bridgestone's 2008 tyres 18 Jan 2008

A plethora of Bridgestone tyres Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R27 Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain, Wednesday 16 January 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2008 Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain, Wednesday 16 January 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton

Bridgestone have said there will be only minimal changes to this season’s Formula One tyres, as the Japanese company officially begins its three-year tenure as the sport’s sole tyre supplier.

As in 2007 - when Bridgestone had a monopoly on the grid thanks to Michelin’s early Formula One withdrawal - each team will be provided with two dry tyre specifications per race. There could be some variation in those specifications for 2008, but apart from that Bridgestone envisage only minor changes in terms of constructions and compounds.

“Our tyres are essentially the same as provided last season, so the teams already have a good understanding of how they work,” said Tetsuro Kobayashi, Bridgestone Motorsport’s technical manager, following this week’s test session at Jerez in Spain.

“Now all the teams have to do is optimise their new cars with our tyres, and whoever does this best will have the greatest opportunity when we reach Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix in eight weeks time.

"We have yet to announce our allocations for races and there could be some changes from the tyre compounds we brought to particular races in 2007. We have made a minor change to the tyre construction for all the compounds, but this is more of a refinement than a big difference. We have also adjusted our super soft compound and the difference should be seen in the races where this tyre is used."

In addition to their wet and extreme wet tyres, Bridgestone ran their medium dry compound at Jerez. They expect to continue with the same compound at next week’s three-day Valencia test.