Bridgestone Motorsport's Saturday Update
Bridgestone's super soft tyre provided Jenson Button with the grip he needed to get pole position for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne as the Brawn GP team made its grand prix qualifying debut in perfect fashion.
Button took pole with a lap of 1min 26.202secs in hot weather at Albert Park, edging out team-mate Rubens Barrichello by just over three hundredths of a second. Track conditions were improved from Friday, with more rubber down, but teams and drivers still struggled to find the best compromises with the exciting new cars and Bridgestone's slick tyres.
Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development
What was significant about today's running?
"Today was very significant for Formula One as Brawn GP have achieved pole position with Jenson Button in their first grand prix, so congratulations to them. The past two days have been very difficult for teams and drivers as they are learning about their new cars and our new tyres on the variable track surface of Albert Park. We have seen many different tyre wear characteristics, even from the same cars, which highlights the many different setups being tried. The performance life of the super soft was improved today, however it was mainly used with low fuel so we would expect better performance in any case. The medium continues to look like a strong race tyre."
How difficult will strategy be with the new allocation philosophy?
"Tyre strategy should be very difficult and this is the desired outcome. We have heard drivers say that the super soft is too soft for here and the medium is too hard, and that is by design. In conjunction with the desires of the FIA to enhance overtaking opportunities, we are not bringing optimum tyres here in terms of their performance, instead we are bringing tyres which make the teams and drivers think hard before they use them. When to use the medium or the super soft tyres in the race is not the only consideration, as the setup of the car has to be a compromise in the race to allow it to work with both tyres. It will be a lot of work for the engineers and drivers, but should provide a lot of entertainment for the spectators and viewers."