China Day 1: Bridgestone review

Force India F1 Team mechanic with Bridgestone tyres. Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, Friday

Apr.16 (YF1) Bridgestone’s soft tyre proved to be the fastest for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton who topped the times on the opening day of practice for the Chinese Grand Prix. Hamilton set a 1min35.217secs time midway through the afternoon practice session at a cool and dry Shanghai International Circuit. Hamilton’s team-mate, Jenson Button, went fastest in the morning practice session, using the hard compound to set a time of 1min 36.677secs.

Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima – Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development

What was significant about today’s running?
“Today we faced a dirty and dusty track and we experienced relatively cool conditions, although not as cold as it was yesterday. As expected, there was not a lot of grip given by the track, although this improved through the day. We saw graining, particularly on the front tyres, although this was only mild and no cause for concern.”

How do you expect this allocation to work over the weekend?
“The soft compound provided the fastest lap time today and a quicker warm-up, although the overall lap time difference was not as big as we have seen at some tracks. This could mean that some of the top teams opt for the hard compound in Q1 tomorrow to save their softer tyres for the later sessions. Of course, the last three out of four races here have been wet so the weather, as always, will be the most important consideration for tyre performance.”