Circuit de Catalunya: Bridgestone Motorsport’s Saturday Update

Bridgestone’s soft tyre allowed Brawn GP driver Jenson Button to qualify with his third pole position of the season for tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya. Button set a time of 1min 20.527secs, a tenth faster than Red Bull Racing driver Sebastian Vettel. Rubens Barrichello (Brawn GP) went third fastest. Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver Felipe Massa used the soft tyre to go fastest in the morning practice session with a time of 1min 20.553secs. Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima – Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development What was significant about today’s running? “Today we had an exciting qualifying session and we have an interesting grid for tomorrow’s race. Lap times are extremely close here and tyre strategy was crucial in qualifying. The soft compound is around half a second faster than the hard which meant this tyre was used extensively through all the qualifying sessions, although some of the faster competitors used the hard compound for Q1. Many teams have new aerodynamic packages here and we have been able to see how effective these developments have been.” How are the two compounds working here in Spain? “The two compounds are working very much as expected and there have been no surprises for teams. The soft tyre will be the preferred tyre for the race as it is faster but without significant wear or degradation issues. This should make strategy decisions easy for the race tomorrow. However, we have seen forecasts of rain, so everyone will be looking to the skies for the best indicator for the best tyre strategy.”

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