Bridgestones soft tyre provided the grip for Red Bull Racing driver Sebastian Vettel to qualify on his second pole position of the season for tomorrows Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park.
Vettel set a time of 1min 28.316secs, a tenth faster than Brawn GP Formula 1 Team driver Jenson Button, who also used the soft Bridgestone. Rubens Barrichello (Brawn GP Formula 1 Team) went third fastest, using the hard compound.
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver Felipe Massa used the hard tyre to go fastest in the morning practice session with a time of 1min 27.983secs. Illustrating the close performance today, a second covered the top 16 cars in the Q1 session and half a second covered the top ten in Q2.
Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima – Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development
What was significant about todays running?
Today we saw a very close and exciting qualifying session. Deciding which compound to use and getting the correct set-up was the biggest task. The track condition was improved from yesterday and it was hotter and there was less wind. This meant that several factors had changed, so competitors faced a big challenge. The soft Bridgestone proved faster than the hard compound, but the difference was only slight. The soft tyre still shows more graining than the hard and this was a factor today.
What are the tyre strategy considerations for tomorrows race?
Management of the soft Bridgestone will be the primary consideration for many. The hard compound looks to deliver good consistent performance and the lap time difference between it and the softer tyre is not as much as we have seen for most of the races so far this year. So far our data regarding Turn Eight has not highlighted any problems, however tomorrow will see race stints with heavier fuel loads so we remain vigilant.
Stats of the Day