Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing) used Bridgestones Intermediate tyre to blast to pole position by a massive 1.3 seconds at a treacherous and wet Sepang circuit for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Webber set a time of 1min 49.327secs for his second-ever pole and first of 2010. He will start tomorrows race alongside Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team driver Nico Rosberg, who used Bridgestones Wet tyre to go second fastest. Webber was also fastest in the earlier practice session, using the soft compound for a 1min 33.542secs in dry conditions.
Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima – Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development
What was significant about todays running?
The weather and timing of when to go out on track were both very important today in qualifying, and this is best illustrated by the grid we will see for tomorrows race. The weather was very variable and it was difficult to make the correct decision for when to go out on track and which tyre to use. Mark Webber made a very good call for his pole position. Both the Intermediate and wet tyre worked well in the conditions today and the cross-over between the two was around where we expected. If we have weather like this tomorrow, being on the correct tyre for the conditions will make all the difference.
What are the tyre strategy considerations for tomorrows race?
As qualifying was held in wet conditions all drivers are free to choose which tyre they will use to start the race. We have gained good data of both dry tyres and the soft is quicker and will work best when the cars are lighter. This means we would expect many to start on the hard tyre if the race starts in dry conditions. If it is wet at the start, then it is very difficult to say, as it depends how wet the track becomes, and if there is any standing water. No matter what the conditions I think we will have a very exciting race with the grid line-up on this challenging Sepang circuit.
Stats of the Day
Compounds used: Hard / Soft / Intermediate / Wet