Bridgestone Motorsport

Formula 1

Introduction

Every year approximately 60,000 Formula One tyres are manufactured in Bridgestone’s factory in Kodaira, Tokyo. As the “Official Tyre Supplier” for the 2008 season, these 60,000 tyres will supply all 10 teams competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship this year.

Structure

At top speeds a Formula One tyre rotates up to 50 times per second, which is approximately 150,000 times in a 300km race. This combined with the severe loads the tyres are exposed to means they must be extremely durable, yet still light.

Bead Area - The bead acts as an anchor to hold the tyre on to the rim. The bead can be either steel or high tensile composite material. The rubberized bead is stretched over the rim to ensure that the two components are tightly secured together.

Sidewall Area - The sidewall is the side of the tyre between the bead and the tread. The main purpose of the sidewall is to protect the tyre carcass from damage that could lead to punctures.

Shoulder Area - The tyre shoulder connects the main tread rubber with the sidewall, an area that is loaded particularly heavily during the course of a race. The shoulder is vital as it helps maintain as large a contact patch as possible when a vehicle is cornering.

Tread - The tread is the main part of the tyre that comes into contact with the road. The tread is made of a rubber compound which generates grip through hysteresis (the absorption of energy during the deformation of the rubber) and adhesion.

Belts - The belts are a core component within Bridgestone Potenza tyres as they control the behavior of the contact patch with the road, using the strong hoop shape the belt provides. The belts may be steel, nylon, polyester or other materials and are arranged in a secret combination to provide strength, side force and puncture resistance.

Inner Liner - Positioned below the carcass, the liner ensures the tyre is air tight. The inner liner is produced from a specifically formulated rubber compound.

Carcass - The carcass supports the mass of the car using the tension on the carcass cords that is provided by the pressure of the air inside the tyre. The carcass provides the tyre with stability.

Tyre Range

For the 2008 season each driver has available to them Dry, Wet and Extreme Wet Weather tyres. The main differences between these three tyre types are the shape, depth and patterns of the grooves.

Dry

Dry Tyre Design - During the course of a Formula One season, drivers clock up most miles on dry weather tyres. Vertical grooves, of at least 10 millimeters in width, have been specified for such tyres since 1998. In comparison with the “slick” tyres used previously, current specification dry tyres offer reduced cornering speeds. From the 2009 season, teams will once again be permitted to use slick tyres.

Dry Tyre Compound - The 2008 Bridgestone dry tyre is available in four different compounds – Hard, Medium, Soft and Super Soft. This range ensures there is a tyre available that is suitable for every track on the calendar. Bridgestone selects the two most appropriate specifications to be taken to a race weekend, with the softer of the two specification Potenza’s at each round being marked with a white line in the base of the second from inside groove.

Dry Tyre Pressure - The running pressure of a Bridgestone Potenza Formula One dry tyre is approximately 17 to 21 PSI (1.2 to 1.5 bar).

Wet

Wet Tyre Design - A wet weather tyre is one that has been designed for use on a wet or damp track. Only one compound of wet weather tyre is taken by Bridgestone to a race weekend. A wet weather tyre’s optimum operating temperature is between 35 to 55°C.

Wet Tyre Pressure - The running pressure of a Bridgestone Potenza Formula One wet weather tyre is approximately 17 to 21 PSI (1.2 to 1.5 bar).

Wet Tyre Dispersion - A set of four Bridgestone Potenza wet weather tyres can disperse up to 34 litres of water per second when travelling at 300km/hour. Bridgestone’s wet weather tyres are designed using a super computer which can test differences in grooves and patterns to find the most efficient ways of displacing water.

Extreme

Extreme Tyre Design - An extreme wet weather tyre is one that has been designed for use on a wet track. Only one compound of extreme wet weather tyre is taken by Bridgestone to a race weekend. An extreme wet weather tyre’s optimum operating temperature is between 35 to 55°C.

Extreme Tyre Pressure - The running pressure of a Bridgestone Potenza Formula One extreme wet weather tyre is approximately 17 to 21 psi (1.2 to 1.5 bar).

Extreme Tyre Dispersion - A set of four Bridgestone Potenza extreme wet weather tyres can disperse up to 61 litres of water per second when travelling at 300km/hour. Bridgestone’s extreme wet weather tyres are designed using a super computer which can test differences in grooves and patterns to find the most efficient ways of displacing water.

Regulations

Regulations are the rules or conditions that govern procedure. The sporting and technical regulations for the Formula One World Championship are drawn up by the FIA, the governing body for the world of motorsport.

FIA Regulations

Each driver is allocated four sets of dry weather tyres, two of each specification, for use during FP1 and FP2. These are the only dry weather tyres that may be used during these sessions and must be returned to the tyre supplier before the start of FP3.

Each driver is allocated ten further sets of dry weather tyres, five of each specification, for use during the remainder of the event. However, one set of each specification must be returned to the tyre supplier before the start of the qualifying practice session and may not be used during the remainder of the event.

Unless wet or extreme wet weather tyres are used during the race, each driver must use at least one set of each specification of dry weather tyres during the race. If the race is started behind the safety car because of heavy rain, the use of extreme weather tyres is compulsory.

Tyre blankets are permitted.

FIA Regulations: F1 Dry Weather Tyres

All dry weather tyres must incorporate circumferential grooves square to the wheel axis and around the entire circumference of the contact surface of each tyre.

Tyre Grooves - All dry weather tyres must incorporate four circumferential grooves square to the wheel axis and around the entire circumference of the contact surface of each tyre. Front and rear tyres must have the same groove specification.

Measurments - Tyre grooves must be arranged symmetrically about centre of the tyre tread and arranged 50mm (+- 1mm) apart. Measurements will be taken when the tyre is fitted to a wheel and inflated to 1.4 bar.

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