Bridgestone Motorsports Saturday Update
Bridgestones super soft tyre provided Jenson Button with the grip he needed to get pole position for
the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne as the Brawn GP team made its grand prix qualifying debut in
Button took pole with a lap of 1min 26.202secs in hot weather at Albert Park, edging out team-mate
Rubens Barrichello by just over three hundredths of a second. Track conditions were improved from
Friday, with more rubber down, but teams and drivers still struggled to find the best compromises
with the exciting new cars and Bridgestones slick tyres.
Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima – Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development
What was significant about todays running?
Today was very significant for Formula One as Brawn GP have achieved pole position with Jenson
Button in their first grand prix, so congratulations to them. The past two days have been very difficult
for teams and drivers as they are learning about their new cars and our new tyres on the variable
track surface of Albert Park. We have seen many different tyre wear characteristics, even from the
same cars, which highlights the many different setups being tried. The performance life of the super
soft was improved today, however it was mainly used with low fuel so we would expect better
performance in any case. The medium continues to look like a strong race tyre.
How difficult will strategy be with the new allocation philosophy?
Tyre strategy should be very difficult and this is the desired outcome. We have heard drivers say that
the super soft is too soft for here and the medium is too hard, and that is by design. In conjunction
with the desires of the FIA to enhance overtaking opportunities, we are not bringing optimum tyres
here in terms of their performance, instead we are bringing tyres which make the teams and drivers
think hard before they use them. When to use the medium or the super soft tyres in the race is not
the only consideration, as the setup of the car has to be a compromise in the race to allow it to work
with both tyres. It will be a lot of work for the engineers and drivers, but should provide a lot of
entertainment for the spectators and viewers.