Bridgestone

Formula 1 Team reports for the 2010 F1 season includes race previews, reports and reviews

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Bridgestone

Postby Ed » Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:07 pm

Bridgestone Motorsport Valencia Test Summary & 2010 Season Preview

Bridgestone Motorsport, the Official Tyre Supplier to the FIA Formula One World Championship, has completed the first group test of the exciting new 2010 season after three days at the 4.05 km Circuit Comunitat de la Valenciana, in Spain.

This was the first opportunity for teams, drivers and observers to see in action the final specification of the new narrow front Potenza F1 tyre developed by Bridgestone for this season. With a tyre size of 245/55R13, the new front tyre when fitted to a rim is 20mm narrower than the 2009 specification and is designed to redress the balance of the cars after grooves were removed from the tyres ahead of the 2009 season.

Bridgestone will again have four dry tyre compounds (Hard, Medium, Soft and Super Soft) to cover the 19 race calendar, with two selected per race weekend. Two of these four compound designations of 2010 dry tyre: the Soft and Super Soft; were available for use by the teams in Valencia this week, as well as the current specification intermediate and wet weather tyres.

Seven teams attended the test, which took place between 1-3 February, with sunny conditions and moderate winds prevailing over the course of the three day test.

Bridgestone’s Potenza Formula One tyres will next be seen in use in Jerez on February 10-13, where Bridgestone expects ten teams to be present, including Virgin Racing, the first of the four new F1 teams to break cover. This will be quickly followed by another four days of testing at Jerez from February 17-20, where Lotus Racing is also expected to join the group test. Along with the intermediate and wet weather tyres, the Medium will be the main dry compound available at both these Jerez tests, with teams also able to request the Hard and Soft compounds as additional options during both weeks.

Q&A with Tetsuro Kobayashi – Technical Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport:
Which specifications were brought to Valencia and why?
“We brought the Soft and Super Soft dry compound tyres to Valencia, along with our intermediate and wet weather specifications too. Valencia is a less severe track compared to some and although it has a slightly rough surface we are able to use our softer compounds here. One interesting factor at Valencia however is the front tyre graining caused by the lateral forces, which makes it a good track for us to evaluate the graining resistance of our front tyres. This is in contrast to the Jerez track, where teams will next test, which is much more severe, especially on the rear tyres. So we will be able to check our rear tyre performance more thoroughly next week.”

First test of the year with no fewer than seven teams: what was learnt from this test?
“First of all, we are pleased to have seen the good potential of the 2010 specifications, even though it’s a little difficult to judge fully the true performance because of the special characteristics of the Valencia circuit. So far though, our tyre performance is in line with our expectations. We are expecting to learn more about rear tyre behaviour at the next consecutive Jerez tests where the rough tarmac and severe layout will provide a good testing opportunity for the Bridgestone rear tyres.”

The next two tests will be at Jerez. Which specifications will be seen there?
“The Medium compound will be supplied as the prime compound for both of the tests and the Hard and Soft compounds will be available during both week one and week two as option compounds.”

Why has Bridgestone only now developed the narrow front?
“The decision to change from grooved to slick tyres ahead of the 2009 season meant that the front tyres gained proportionately more contact surface area in comparison to the rear tyres. This in turn gave the fronts more grip than was ideally required. However, at the request of the teams, who had already designed their 2009 cars based on the previous sized fronts, we delayed the introduction of the narrow front until 2010.”

How much more narrow is the new front and did the teams have to do anything in particular to accommodate it?
“It is actually 20mm more narrow (including wheel width) than the 2009 specification (2010 front tyre size:245/55 R13) and it enables the cars to be better balanced from front to rear. From the teams’ perspectives, they should have taken these new fronts into consideration when designing their 2010 cars and they were asked in particular to consider designing the cars with more rear carrying load in order to get the best out of the tyres.”

What other changes has Bridgestone made to the tyres ahead of this season?
“Of course, being a new sized front, the front construction has been slightly modified but the other main change this year has been a change to the rear tyre construction in order to increase its durability. There has also been some modification of the tyre compounds in order to manage the expected longer stint lengths and to provide quicker warm up times in comparison to our 2009 compound range.”

How much work is involved from Bridgestone’s perspective in designing, developing and manufacturing new tyre specifications?
“There is a great deal of effort required when designing and introducing new tyre specifications. Firstly, it is vital that the tyres are safe and of a high quality. They must also be capable of doing the job they have been designed for. Our tyre designers and engineers at our Technical Centre in Kodaira City, Tokyo, Japan, were extremely busy last year working on the prototypes and ensuring that the final specifications met the stringent quality and performance tests at our indoor testing facility. Only when tyres pass these tests on the rigs are they allowed to be run on the cars. It has to be said that the teams have also played an important part in this process as their simulation data is vital in ensuring that we are placing the tyres under the right amounts and types of loading. It is very much a collaborative process and we now look forward to seeing the tyres in action on the race tracks.”

Does the no refuelling rule and anticipated longer stint lengths place the tyres under added stresses?
“Certainly, with the cars being potentially 100kgs heavier this year at the start of the races than last year, the longer stint lengths with greater amounts of fuel will place additional loads on t he tyres but our 2010 casing should be much more durable in comparison to the 2009 casing: the strengthened rear construction in particular; will help the cars accommodate this new rule. We will also keep monitoring and analysing the data very carefully at the coming winter tests and races because the downforce created by the 2010 cars will keep improving throughout the season. We have already noted that much higher downforces are being produced in comparison to last season.”

How will Bridgestone allocate the two types of dry tyre in 2010?
“Like 2009, Bridgestone intends to take two dry compounds which are a step allocation apart to most races: Hard and Soft or Medium and Super Soft for example. This will not be possible at some races however, such as Monaco, where it is important to have consecutive soft compounds to ensure maximum grip on the street circuit. The compound allocation will again be determined by Bridgestone, based on our experience of previous years and the data received from the teams.”

How many sets of tyres will drivers have available at race weekends?
“The number of sets of dry tyres to be made available in 2010 for each driver per race weekend has been reduced from 14 sets to 11 sets. These will consist of six sets of the “prime” tyre and five sets of the “option” tyre. Furthermore, we will provide four sets of intermediate tyre and three sets of wet tyre. This is welcome news from Bridgestone’s perspective as we will have additional teams to supply and provide tyre fitting services to this year and we thank the FIA and teams for their co-operation in this regard.”

How will the tyres be visually distinguishable from each other this season?
“We will mark the softer of the two compounds available at each race weekend with green bands on the outer edges of the sidewalls. We tested many different alternatives and this location gave the best visibility, from the side and also a head-on view. We have used the colour green as it shows our support of the FIA’s Make Cars Green campaign.”

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Postby Ed » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:20 am

Bridgestone Motorsport announce tyre specifications

Bridgestone, the Official Tyre Supplier to the FIA Formula One World Championship, is pleased to announce the compound allocations of Potenza tyres for the first three rounds of the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship.

This season will be the second with slick tyres which made a return to Formula One last year after eleven years absence from the sport. Changes for 2010 include a narrower front tyre and new constructions front and rear. All four dry compounds are modified from those used last year.

Just as in 2009, non consecutive allocations of tyres will occur at many circuits. Despite the changes to the compounds themselves, thecompound names remain the same, with the range consisting of hard, medium, soft and super soft. There are two distinct temperature working ranges of tyres. The hard and medium have a higher temperature working range than the soft and super soft.

In a change to the regulations, the number of sets of dry tyres available for each driver at a grand prix changes from seven of each compound to six of the harder ‘prime’ compound and five of the softer ‘option’ compound.

The wet and intermediate tyres have no significant changes apart from the width of the front intermediate tyre, which will now be the same as the new dry front tyre. The means of distinguishing between the two compounds on event will be through means of green bands painted on the edges of the tyre sidewalls of the softer tyres at a race. The wet tyre also has a green line at the bottom of the central groove. These markings allow the compounds to be visually distinguishable by fans at the circuit and those watching on television. The green colour shows Bridgestone’s continued support of the FIA’s Make Cars Green campaign.

Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone Head of Motorsport Tyre Development, says:
“Tyre strategy will be very important in 2010 as there is no longer refuelling which was previously a big factor in determining when pit stops would occur. We have changed all our dry compounds for this season, as the cars will be heavier and the stint lengths could be longer. We have also made changes to enable quicker warm-up times. We will bring harder tyres to Australia than we did last season, but the compound allocation positions for Bahrain and Malaysia are the same as they were in 2009. There will be a big challenge for teams this season on how they use their tyres as they have fewer sets of dry tyres available than before, particularly with the softer tyre at each race. We are happy to continue to show our support of the FIA’s Make Cars Green campaign with the green markings on our tyres and we look forward to what should be a very exciting start to the season in Bahrain.”

Tyre compounds for the 2010 season:
Grand Prix Super Soft Soft Medium Hard
Bahrain Grand Prix (Sakhir): Super Soft & Medium
Australian Grand Prix (Melbourne): Soft & Hard
Malaysian Grand Prix (Sepang): Soft & Hard

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Postby Ed » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:42 am

Bridgestone Motorsport Jerez Test Summary

Bridgestone Motorsport concluded two pre-season tests at the Circuito de Jerez last Saturday, where extensive use was made of Bridgestone’s wet and intermediate tyres for the majority of eight days’ testing at the track in southern Spain, on February 10-13 and 17-20.

The final two days provided extensive dry running, but prior to that uncharacteristic and persistent rain in Spain made matters difficult for teams trying to develop their new cars for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship, for which Bridgestone is the Official Tyre Supplier.

Three compounds of 2010 specification dry tyres were available, with all but the super soft on offer, but it was the wet and intermediate tyres which were used for the majority of the time. Such was the demand for these tyres that Bridgestone sent extra sets of both for all teams from its UK base.

Bridgestone’s Potenza Formula One tyres will next be used in test action this week at Barcelona on February 25-28 where all four dry compounds as well as the wet and intermediate will be available.

Q&A with Jun Matsuzaki – Assistant Technical Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport:

How much of a factor has the weather been in Jerez?
“I think this is the most rain ever seen at Jerez, and on Thursday night it was almost impossible to leave the circuit as there was so much water on the roads. Fortunately, there was no more rain left in the sky so we had good dry running on Friday and Saturday which was very valuable.”

What are the difficulties with testing in wet conditions?
“The difficulty with wet conditions is that they are never constant so there are too many variables to gain good data and develop cars. If it is raining, the circuit is getting wetter so lap times become slower because of this. If it is a drying track, there will be improving lap times due to the improved track surface, a change to the car, or use of a different tyre. This makes it very difficult for everyone. Also, logistically, we had to bring out extra wet and intermediate tyres to enable the teams to continue running in these difficult conditions.”

How have the wet and intermediate tyres worked in Jerez?
“The difficult factor has been that these tyres have been used before the teams have been able to get good dry set-ups on their cars. This is important to have as it makes finding a wet set-up far easier. This has meant we’ve seen a variety of wear characteristics, particularly on the intermediate tyre which is used on a drier track than the wet. When the intermediate is used on a track which has dry patches, or on a car where the set-up is not so balanced, you do see more wear with this tyre. The additional weight of the fuel loads in this season’s cars also adds to the difference in wear from that seen before. Equally, Jerez is a circuit which has quite high wear so we expect better performance as teams develop better set-ups of their cars and at less severe circuits than Jerez.”

What have you learnt about the dry tyres?
“Saturday was the only day where we started with a dry track and we had very little rain through the day, so we are still working with limited data. We can say that warm-up has been good for all three dry compounds here, with a definite improvement from last season’s tyres. It is too early to understand the differences between the compounds. Jerez is particularly severe on the rear tyres and we are happy with their performance from what we have seen so far. Hopefully, we will have better weather in Barcelona.”

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Postby Ed » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:16 pm

28 February, Barcelona, Spain

Bridgestone Motorsport Barcelona Test Summary

Bridgestone Motorsport concluded the final pre-season test before the start of the 2010 Formula One season at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona where all four compounds of Bridgestone’s dry tyre range were used over four days on February 25-28.

As a contrast to the previous two tests in Jerez, there was predominantly dry weather over the four days, meaning that extensive mileage could be completed by the eleven teams present.

Bridgestone’s Potenza Formula One tyres will be used next at the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 12-14 where the super soft and medium compound will be used.

Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development:
What are Bridgestone’s conclusions from pre-season testing?
“The major change of the narrower front tyre is working well and has made a positive change to car grip balance. Teams have made good progress despite the limited dry running this month. Our objective of improving the warm-up of all of the dry compounds has been achieved and the tyres are working well with the new, heavier cars.”

How important was it to get dry weather in Barcelona?
“After a lot of rain in Jerez it was good to get dry running here. The first test in Valencia was also dry, however with only seven teams there was a limited amount of data. If Valencia had been the only dry test, then there would be a lot still to learn in Bahrain. Of course, in Barcelona the weather was not perfect. The first day the track was green so it wasn’t until the second day that we had a good amount of rubber laid. There was rain on the third day, which didn’t help, but overall this final test has been very valuable.”

How are the dry tyres performing?
“All four compounds were tested here in Barcelona. Considering the temperatures because of the time of year, we have seen performance in line with our predictions. This week has been a good validation of the good work of our development engineers in Japan. The super soft is a bit too soft for this severe circuit, but there have been good test results with this tyre here. The soft tyre was used for the majority of running, and we’ve seen some very long runs with this tyre as teams evaluate strategy options for the latest rules. The medium and hard compounds have also given good results.”

What are the crucial strategy considerations for 2010?
“Because there is no refuelling the teams will be looking very carefully at pitstop strategies. We could see longer stint lengths than we have seen recently, and the tyre constructions and compounds have been modified to suit. Of course, for those qualifying in the top ten there is the added consideration of having to start the race on the same tyres which were used for qualifying. It will be interesting to see how this works in practice in the first races.”

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Postby Ed » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:30 pm

Bridgestone Motorsport Bahrain Grand Prix Preview

Bridgestone enters the final season of its contract as Official Tyre Supplier to the FIA Formula One World Championship with the commencement of the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 14 with Bridgestone’s super soft and medium 2010 specification dry slick tyres.

Changes for this year include a narrower front tyre, to give a more even grip balance front to rear, and modifications to the tyre construction and compounds, due to the heavier cars and different strategy options brought about by the ban on refuelling. Two compounds of dry tyre will be available for every grand prix, with the requirement that both are used in the race. The concept of non-consecutive tyre allocations, first seen last season, remains. The softer tyre at any race will be designated by green bands on the side walls, highlighting Bridgestone’s support of the FIA’s Make Cars Green campaign.

Bridgestone’s range of dry tyres for the season retain the same names of hard, medium, soft and super soft, although all compounds are changed from those used in 2009. In a change to the regulations, the number of tyres available per driver for each grand prix is reduced from 7 of each compound to 6 of the ‘prime’ compound and 5 of the ‘option’. The wet tyre range remains as before, with the wet and intermediate tyre available at every race, with 3 sets of the wet and 4 of the intermediate available for each driver.

Bahrain starts a season for the second time in its seven year history and serves up a new track layout to challenge the teams for the first of 19 races this year. Changes to the Sakhir circuit mean that a lap will now be 6.299 km long, in contrast to its previous 5.412km, making Bahrain the second longest on the calendar after Spa. High temperatures usually prevail in Bahrain and it is seldom wet. Traction demands of the layout mean tyre usage needs to be closely monitored.

Hiroshi Yasukawa – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport, says:
“This will be our fourteenth season in Formula One and we are anticipating a fantastic year ahead of exciting racing. We will be welcoming new teams, the return of Michael Schumacher after three seasons away and the introduction of regulation changes, all of which will play a part in making Formula One a fascinating sport to follow this year. For Bridgestone, the sport will continue to play a strong role in providing our sales companies with strong promotional and marketing opportunities and the Middle East, being a strategically important market for us, is an excellent place to start the season.”

Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, says:
“There are both technical and logistical challenges for Bridgestone in 2010. No refuelling means we have modified the tyre construction and have all new compounds of dry tyres. As well as cars which will be approximately 100kgs heavier at the start of the race, we will see different pit stop strategies this season and the top ten cars starting with their qualifying tyres brings many strategy considerations for teams too. In terms of logistics we have new teams and 19 races. The Sakhir circuit layout is different this year, with an additional eight turns, and this will have an impact on tyre wear and car set up. We have the super soft tyre, which is from our lower temperature working range, and the medium, which is from our higher temperature working range. All this sets us up for a very exciting opening race to the season, especially with only relatively limited running in pre-season testing.”

Stats & Facts
Number & Spec of tyres brought to Bahrain 2000 (Medium, super soft, intermediate/wets)
Pole position time 2009: 1min 33.431secs (Trulli)
Fastest race lap 2009: 1min 34.556secs (Trulli)
Top three 2009: Button, Vettel, Trulli

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Postby Ed » Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:04 pm

Bridgestone Motorsport Australian Grand Prix Preview

Bridgestone heads to Australia for the second race of the 2010 Formula One season where Bridgestone’s hard and soft compound Potenza tyres will tackle the streets of Albert Park for the Australian Grand Prix on March 26-28.
Two weeks after the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, competitors will line up in Albert Park for the only time that the venue is used for motorsport each year. The track features 16 turns over its 5.30 km and is a compromise circuit in its layout with low downforce desired down the straights, but higher downforce requirements through the turns. High lateral forces mean high levels of energy and heat are dispersed through the tyres.

Hiroshi Yasukawa – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport, says:
“It is always a pleasure to visit Australia, which is a very important market for Bridgestone. The people of Melbourne always give us a great welcome and the Australian Grand Prix gains substantial attention all around the world.”

Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, says:
“As we saw last season, Albert Park can present many challenges. This is the first race of the season held on a non-permanent circuit. We expect to see a lot of track improvement over the course of the weekend, which makes finding a good set-up difficult. The track evolution is also an important factor when deciding which tyre strategy to use. We have moved our allocations a step harder for this season, which should mean tyre management is not as challenging as in 2009. Melbourne is very severe for graining and even bringing this harder allocation, competitors have to take care of tyre set up. We think the performance difference between prime and option will be bigger than it was in Bahrain. Also, you can never be certain of the Melbourne weather, so a lot of time will be spent looking at the skies.”

Stats & Facts
Number & Spec of tyres brought to Melbourne: 2000 (Hard, soft, intermediate/wets)
Pole position time 2009: 1min 26.202secs (Button)
Fastest race lap 2009: 1min 27.706secs (Rosberg)
Top three 2009: Button, Barrichello, Trulli

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Postby Ed » Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:07 pm

Bridgestone Motorsport’s Friday Update

Bridgestone’s soft tyre helped Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton go fastest at Albert Park for the first day of practice for the Australian Grand Prix.
Hamilton set a 1m 25.801secs early in the second practice session, before significant rain fell on the track. He was fastest from team-mate Jenson Button, who used the hard compound for his fastest lap. Renault F1 Team driver Robert Kubica was quickest in the first practice session, also using the hard compound Bridgestone Potenza. Because of the rain, Bridgestone’s intermediate tyres were used in the latter practice session, for the first time this season.

Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development
What was significant about today’s running?
“The day started with the expected dusty track so there was a lot of surface improvement through the first session. Everyone used the hard Potenza in FP1 for their set-up work but it was difficult to understand car potential without knowing the fuel loads in the cars. The second practice session had rain and we saw some good use of the intermediate tyre. This tyre worked well in damp and drying conditions so we are confident of its performance if rain returns.”

How do you expect this allocation to work over the weekend?
“This is a difficult question to answer due to the mixed weather conditions in FP2. The target of teams in this session is to compare the performance between the hard and soft compounds, but the Melbourne weather interrupted this. At the end of the session there were still small drops of rain falling from the sky, but there was still use of the soft compound. We saw expected levels of graining on this tyre for a ‘green’ track. The running we have had so far is insufficient for conclusions to be drawn, so tomorrow’s practice will be very important.”

Stats of the Day
Practice One 12:30 – 14:00
Driver Team Time Tyre
Robert Kubica Renault F1 Team 1m 26.927s H
Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team 1m 27.126s H
Jenson Button Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1m 27.482s H

Practice Two 16:30 – 18:00
Driver Team Time Tyre
Lewis Hamilton Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1m 25.801s S
Jenson Button Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1m 26.076s H
Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1m 26.248s H

Compounds used: Hard / Soft

Temperatures Ambient Track Weather
PM – Practice 1 27C-24C 43C-33C Sunny / Cloudy
PM – Practice 2 21C-20C 26C-24C Cloudy / Drizzle

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Postby Ed » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:40 pm

Bridgestone Motorsport’s Saturday Update

Red Bull Racing driver Sebastian Vettel powered to pole using Bridgestone’s soft compound tyre to set a new lap record pole time of 1m23.919secs around Albert Park for the Australian Grand Prix.

Vettel has team-mate Mark Webber alongside him for tomorrow’s afternoon race start. Local hero Webber was fastest in the earlier practice session using the soft compound for a 1min 24.719secs.

Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development
What was significant about today’s running?
“Qualifying was a good battle with very close times and Sebastian Vettel did a very good job to take pole. There is an interesting line-up in the top ten so there is good potential for tomorrow’s race. The temperatures today were a lot cooler than yesterday, which presented a challenge for drivers, especially in qualifying. Qualifying was interesting as different strategies were used because of the threat of rain.”

What are the tyre strategy considerations for tomorrow’s race?
“Track condition will play a large part. The track was quite green at the start of today, because of the rain last night. If there is rain before tomorrow’s race we will face quite a difficult track, and those starting on the soft tyre will have the concern of graining on the left tyres, either front, rear, or both depending on the car and set-up. If a driver can protect their tyres then a one stop strategy should be possible, and the lower pit lane speed limit we have here also plays to this approach. The soft tyre is around 0.5 seconds faster for its fastest lap than the harder tyre, but we really don’t have sufficient data to know how long it will last here. This, and the variable of the Melbourne weather, will be the biggest unknowns for tomorrow’s race.”

Stats of the Day
Practice Three 14:00 – 15:00
Driver Team Time Tyre
Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1m 24.719s S
Fernando Alonso Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 1m 24.929s S
Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team 1m 24.963s S

Qualifying 17:00 – 18:00
Driver Team Time Tyre
Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1m 23.919s S
Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1m 24.035s S
Fernando Alonso Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 1m 24.111s S

Compounds used: Hard / Soft
Temperatures Ambient Track Weather
PM – Practice 3 21C 28C-25C Cloudy
PM – Qualifying 21C-20C 23C Cloudy

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Postby Ed » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:44 pm

Bridgestone Motorsport’s Australian Grand Prix Report

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button scored a fine victory in the Australian Grand Prix with a superb illustration of his tyre management skills by using one set of Bridgestone’s soft compound tyre for all but the first six laps of the 58 lap race.

Button started, like the rest of the field, on Bridgestone’s Intermediate tyre after rain fell on Albert Park. The reigning champion was first to pit for a set of the soft dry compound Bridgestone Potenzas, and then drove all the way to the chequered flag on these tyres to score his first race victory of 2010. Renault F1 team driver Robert Kubica used the same strategy to gain his first podium for his new team whilst Felipe Massa took third place for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, also on the same strategy. Pole-man Sebastian Vettel was unfortunate to exit the race from the lead in his Red Bull, whilst his team-mate Mark Webber set the race’s fastest lap on lap 47 using the soft compound.

Hiroshi Yasukawa – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport, says
“What an entertaining race and superb showcase for our Bridgestone tyre technology. Congratulations to Jenson Button for his first win for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, and well done to Robert Kubica for his strong second place for the Renault F1 Team. Albert Park provided an excellent race environment and we are happy to have seen exciting racing for the fans here and around the world.”

Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, says
“This was a great day for tyre performance, strategy and racing as we saw interesting action on track and a good illustration of the benefits of tyre management. The soft tyre was the preferred race tyre once the track dried, and this is a reflection of the track and weather conditions suiting the lower temperature working range tyre. Jenson Button did a superb job to look after his soft tyres for 52 laps for an impressive victory. Robert Kubica also completed a long stint showing good tyre management for second place. There was an interesting battle between the one stop strategies of the Ferraris and the two stop strategy of Lewis Hamilton. We are happy with the performance of our intermediate tyres which were used to start the race, with these heavy cars, and then performed well as the track dried. Careful tyre management meant the soft could last for so long in today’s conditions and this provided a showcase of driver tyre management skills. The degradation of the soft was less than we would have seen on a fully dry track, and the lap times were quite slow because of this. The hard compound, as used by Rubens Barrichello, also delivered a good performance so we are happy.”

Stats of the Day
Race: 17:00 – 18:34
Driver Team Time Tyre Strategy
Jenson Button Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1h 33m 36.531s I-S
Robert Kubica Renault F1 Team 1h 33m 48.565s I-S
Felipe Massa Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 1h 33m 51.019s I-S

Tyres used: Hard (prime) / Soft (option) / Intermediate
Temperatures Ambient Track Weather
PM – Race 21C-26C 25C-24C Drizzle / Cloudy

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Postby Ed » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:47 pm

Round 3

Bridgestone Motorsport Malaysian Grand Prix Preview

No sooner has the chequered flag fallen on the Australian Grand Prix than Bridgestone heads to Sepang where the hard and soft compound Potenza tyres will be used for the Malaysian Grand Prix on April 2-4.

Just one week separates the second and third races on this season’s gruelling 19-race calendar meaning that Bridgestone’s personnel leave Melbourne straight for the Sepang circuit, located approximately 60 km south of Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur.

The Sepang circuit is severe on tyres with two long straights leading into tight, slow speed corners which require heavy braking, putting high energy levels through the tyres. A wide range of corner types mean that Bridgestone’s tyres are kept under heavy loads over the course of a lap.

The circuit layout is not the only aspect that is tough, as the hot weather experienced here provides a harsh test too. Indeed, even when it rains in Malaysia, as it does frequently, temperatures remain high.

Hiroshi Yasukawa – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport, says:
“Last year we had a very exciting Malaysian Grand Prix because of the weather, and this was a good event for us to showcase our full weather range of Bridgestone Potenza tyres. This is an interesting area for Bridgestone as much of our natural rubber comes from this region. This year also marks the 10th Anniversary of Bridgestone in Malaysia and our colleagues will be marking the occasion with a series of events in the build up to the Malaysia Grand Prix. Furthermore, there will be particular interest in the race for Malaysians this year as they have their own team for the first time with Lotus Racing.”

Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, says:
“Sepang is relatively severe on tyres as it has many different corner types and two heavy braking zones after long straights. This means the energy going through the tyres over a lap is considerable. Drivers will have to be careful not to lock their brakes, especially when they have heavy fuel loads and cool tyres in the early laps. The section between turns seven and eleven are very important at this track as they give a very good illustration of a good overall car set-up. Being strong here is crucial for a good performance at Sepang. High temperatures are usually a factor in Malaysia and this could mean more tyre degradation than we’ve seen so far this year, particularly given the severity of the track. Last year illustrated that you never know what to expect in Malaysia.”

Stats & Facts
Number & Spec of tyres brought to Sepang 2000 (Hard, soft, intermediate/wets)
Pole position time 2009: 1min 35.181secs (Button)
Fastest race lap 2009: 1min 36.641secs (Button)
Top three 2009: Button, Heidfeld, Glock

Ed
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Postby Ed » Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:55 am

Bridgestone Motorsport’s Friday Update

Bridgestone’s soft tyre helped Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set the pace with a 1min 34.175secs lap time as the Malaysian Grand Prix got underway in hot and humid conditions at Sepang.
Hamilton set his time in the afternoon practice session, leaving him fastest from Red Bull racing driver Sebastian Vettel, who used the same tyre for his fastest lap. Hamilton was also fastest in the morning practice session, using the hard compound Bridgestone Potenza to set a time of 1min34.921secs.

Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development
What was significant about today’s running?
“Today was interesting as we saw some very fast lap times and there were many laps from drivers so there is a lot of data to analyse. It was also interesting as we had a heavy rain shower shortly after the second session, which reinforces the variability of the weather here in Malaysia. The track conditions seem good here today for the first day of running. Drivers were pushing hard, as shown by the lap times, and we did see understeer progressing to oversteer as a general trend. Graining was experienced on both front and rear tyres so there are many factors of tyre management to be considered.”

How do you expect this allocation to work over the weekend?
“The hot temperatures should mean that there is a clear difference in durability between the two compounds, however the best lap times should be quite close because the heat assists the warm-up of the higher temperature range hard tyre. This will make strategy considerations interesting, and we could see some variety in the tyre used by the Q3 runners tomorrow. The weather, of course, cannot be underestimated, and the soft tyre is a good option if the track is dry, but it looks like rain is not far off. We saw the performance of the intermediate tyre in Melbourne, however the rain here is frequently very severe so the wet tyre could be used. As we saw last year, there can even be too much rain for the race to run, so we will all be looking closely at the skies.”

Stats of the Day
Practice One 10:00 – 11:30
Driver Team Time Tyre
Lewis Hamilton Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1m 34.921s H
Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team 1m 35.106s H
Jenson Button Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1m 35.207s H

Practice Two 14:00 – 15:30
Driver Team Time Tyre
Lewis Hamilton Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1m 34.175s S
Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1m 34.441s S
Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team 1m 34.443s S
Compounds used: Hard / Soft

Temperatures Ambient Track Weather
AM – Practice 1 28C-33C 33C-39C Sunny
PM – Practice 2 33C-34C-33C 43C-47C-41C Sunny / Partly Cloudy

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Postby Ed » Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:57 am

Bridgestone Motorsport’s Saturday Update

Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing) used Bridgestone’s 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 1min49.327secs for his second-ever pole and first of 2010. He will start tomorrow’s race alongside Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team driver Nico Rosberg, who used Bridgestone’s 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 today’s 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 tomorrow’s 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 tomorrow’s 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
Practice Three 13:00 – 14:00
Driver Team Time Tyre
Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1m 33.542s S
Lewis Hamilton Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1m 33.559s S
Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1m 33.587s S

Qualifying 16:00 – 17:20
Driver Team Time Tyre
Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1m 49.327s I
Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team 1m 50.673s W
Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1m 50.789s W
Compounds used: Hard / Soft / Intermediate / Wet

Temperatures Ambient Track Weather
PM – Practice 3 33C-34C-32C 42C-43C-41C Sunny / Cloudy
PM – Qualifying 30C-28C 35C-30C Drizzle / Rain / Cloudy / Rain

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Postby Ed » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:25 am

Bridgestone Motorsport’s Malaysia Grand Prix Report

Sebastian Vettel led his Red Bull Racing team-mate Mark Webber across the line to win a scintillating Malaysian Grand Prix with a soft – hard Bridgestone Potenza tyre strategy at a searing hot Sepang.
The rain which visited the circuit for every afternoon in the build-up to the race remained absent, meaning it was tyre strategies using Bridgestone’s two dry tyres which defined performance, with a good mix of timing and order of use of the hard and soft compounds.

Hiroshi Yasukawa – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport, says
“Today we saw a very exiting race and I am proud of the part that Bridgestone played in this with a good allocation of tyres, as confirmed by the race winner, Sebastian Vettel. Congratulations to Red Bull for their one-two today, and to Mercedes for Nico Rosberg’s third place. It is always a pleasure to visit Malaysia and we have many supporters here. Bridgestone Malaysia celebrated its tenth anniversary around the Grand Prix weekend and they raised over 105,000 Ringgets for their nominated charity - the Global Environment Centre.”

Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, says
“This was a good and interesting race based around tyre strategies. The hard and soft Bridgestone compounds performed very well, but with distinct characteristics. Those who started with the soft tyre had to stop sooner than those who started with the hard, as the soft had a shorter wear life. The hard allowed drivers to continue pushing, as shown by Mark Webber setting the race’s fastest lap on lap 53 with this tyre. The soft required a more forgiving style to maintain its performance. Drivers were able to use fresh tyres sets in the race, as they did not use these tyres in the wet qualifying yesterday. This meant we saw many fastest race laps as the race progressed, from drivers taking to the track on fresh rubber. Our compounds were able to support a variety of strategies and it was good to see the racing on track between many drivers at different times through the race. Even though the top three drivers used the same strategy, there were strong moves through the field using a hard-soft strategy. So many people predicted rain for this race, but today we did not need wet weather to provide excitement on track.”

Stats of the Day
Race: 16:00 – 17:34
Driver Team Time Tyre Strategy
Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1h 33m 48.412s S-H
Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1h 33m 53.261s S-H
Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team 1h 34m 01.916s S-H
Tyres used: Hard (prime) / Soft (option)

Temperatures Ambient Track Weather
PM – Race 34C-32C 44C-38C Sunny / Cloudy

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Postby Ed » Tue May 04, 2010 5:48 pm

Bridgestone Motorsport’s Friday Update

Bridgestone’s soft tyre proved to be the fastest for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton who topped the times on the opening day of practice for the Chinese Grand Prix.

Hamilton set a 1min35.217secs time midway through the afternoon practice session at a cool and dry Shanghai International Circuit. Hamilton's team-mate, Jenson Button, went fastest in the morning practice session, using the hard compound to set a time of 1min36.677secs.

Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development
What was significant about today’s running?
“Today we faced a dirty and dusty track and we experienced relatively cool conditions, although not as cold as it was yesterday. As expected, there was not a lot of grip given by the track, although this improved through the day. We saw graining, particularly on the front tyres, although this was only mild and no cause for concern.”

How do you expect this allocation to work over the weekend?
“The soft compound provided the fastest lap time today and a quicker warm-up, although the overall lap time difference was not as big as we have seen at some tracks. This could mean that some of the top teams opt for the hard compound in Q1 tomorrow to save their softer tyres for the later sessions. Of course, the last three out of four races here have been wet so the weather, as always, will be the most important consideration for tyre performance.”

Stats of the Day
Practice One 10:00 – 11:30
Driver Team Time Tyre
Jenson Button Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1m 36.677s H
Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team 1m 36.748s H
Lewis Hamilton Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1m 36.775s H

Practice Two 14:00 – 15:30
Driver Team Time Tyre
Lewis Hamilton Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1m 35.217s S
Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team 1m 35.465s S
Jenson Button Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1m 35.593s S

Compounds used: Hard / Soft
Temperatures Ambient Track Weather
AM – Practice 1 12C-15C 19C-26C Sunny
PM – Practice 2 15C-16C 27C-24C Sunny

Ed
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Postby Ed » Tue May 04, 2010 5:50 pm

Bridgestone Motorsport’s Saturday Update

Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) took Bridgestone’s soft compound tyre to pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix after a scintillating 1m34.558secs lap of the Shanghai International Circuit.
Vettel will be joined on the front row tomorrow by team-mate Mark Webber, who was fastest in the morning practice session. Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver Fernando Alonso and Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team driver Nico Rosberg will start from the second row.

Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development
What was significant about today’s running?
“Qualifying was very interesting and congratulations to Sebastian Vettel for a very intelligent pole position where he managed our soft compound very well. The key to a fast qualifying lap here today was to conserve the soft compound tyres through the first sector to be able to push harder in sector two and three. Pushing too hard in sector one meant that there was not the same amount of rear stability from the tyres in the second two sectors.”

What are the tyre strategy considerations for tomorrow’s race?
“Assuming it is dry, all of the top ten competitors will start on the soft compound. Only considering the tyre performance we would expect people to make their first stops from around lap 20. Through tyre management drivers should be able to make their tyres last longer than this, and it will be good to see who opts for which approach. Rubens Barrichello is the first driver in the field who can choose his starting tyre, so we will watch his decision keenly. Of course, there are many predictions for wet weather tomorrow, but as we saw in Malaysia, weather predictions cannot always be believed.”

Stats of the Day
Practice Three 11:00 – 12:00
Driver Team Time Tyre
Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1m 35.323s S
Lewis Hamilton Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1m 35.564s S
Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1m 35.691s S

Qualifying 14:00 – 15:00
Driver Team Time Tyre
Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1m 34.558s S
Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1m 34.806s S
Fernando Alonso Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 1m 34.913s S

Compounds used: Hard / Soft
Temperatures Ambient Track Weather
AM – Practice 3 18C-19C 27C-32C Sunny
PM – Qualifying 21C 32C-31C Sunny


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