Motor sport's finest up and coming drivers sampled Bridgestone's Potenza Formula One tyres in the final group test of 2009 at the Jerez racing circuit in southern Spain on December 1-3.
All four compounds of 2009 specification dry tyres were available and used at the test. Twenty drivers drove 2602 laps over the course of the three days for the nine attending teams. Bridgestone's intermediate and wet tyres were also used.
Bridgestone's Potenza Formula One tyres are next scheduled to be used at a group test at the beginning of February next year at Valencia, Spain where the 2010 specification tyres will be in use.
Q&A with Jun Matsuzaki - Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport:
What was learnt from this test?
"This was an interesting test as we had many different drivers, most of whom had little or no experience of Formula One cars. The teams all had different programmes, and all four 2009 dry compounds were available to them. There was a lot of running with heavy cars to simulate the heavier fuel loads of next season so we gained useful data from this."
How was the feedback from the young drivers?
"It was good to see so many young drivers here at the same test, and there were more experienced F1 test drivers in action too, so we had a good benchmark. We could see some of these names again in the future and our current F1 drivers will always need to keep looking over their shoulders because of these youngsters."
What will be the changes to the tyres for the next test?
"Our 2010 tyres are designed for the requirements of the heavier fuel loads in next year's cars and also for the potential different pit stop strategies we could see without refuelling. The construction is more durable, and the compounds have also been modified. A narrower front tyre will also be introduced to adjust the basic balance of the cars. As tyre characteristics will be changed due to the modifications, we are now working very hard with all teams to enhance their understanding of this. We are very looking forward to seeing how quickly the teams maximise tyre performance within the new regulations of 2010."