Bridgestones super soft tyre allowed Panasonic Toyota Racing driver Jarno Trulli to qualify on pole and head up the first ever all-Toyota front row for tomorrows Bahrain Grand Prix.
Trulli set a time of 1min 33.431secs, almost three tenths ahead of team-mate Timo Glock. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) went third fastest. Track conditions were improved from Friday, with more rubber laid and the temperatures were even hotter. Glock used the super soft tyre to go fastest in the morning practice session with a time of 1min 32.605secs.
Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima – Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development
What was significant about todays running?
Today was very good for Toyota as both of their cars qualified on the front row, so congratulations to them and Jarno Trulli for his fourth pole position. We saw further progress from Fridays running with the circuit grip level improved, particularly in the practice session, due to the track being cleared of sand, and more rubber being laid. Qualifying was very exciting through every session, with even the faster cars using the super soft tyre to get through the first qualifying session.
How are the two compounds working here in Bahrain?
We are seeing an interesting weekend in terms of tyre performance. The super soft tyre has worked very well so far this weekend. It delivers a good fast lap time on average 0.7 seconds faster than the medium tyre. In terms of degradation the super soft presents an interesting challenge. Some teams can use the super soft for a long stint, however some teams will have to work hard to maintain the super soft from degradation. This means that usage of the super soft tyre will be the key point to the race. The medium tyre takes longer to warm up than the super soft, even in these hot conditions. In the race medium tyre will be very durable, however with a slower ultimate lap time than the super soft.
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