Bridgestone teams get to grips with Shanghai circuit Bridgestone's four teams Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, Sauber Petronas, Jordan Ford and Minardi Cosworth had a busy day of tyre testing today on day one of the inaugural China Grand Prix....
Bridgestone teams get to grips with Shanghai circuit
Bridgestone's four teams Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, Sauber Petronas, Jordan Ford and Minardi Cosworth had a busy day of tyre testing today on day one of the inaugural China Grand Prix. Friday's two, one-hour long practice sessions are always critical as teams have to decide which of their two tyre specifications they will run for the remainder of the weekend.
The impressive 5.451km circuit on the outskirts of Shanghai, however, is designed in the shape of the Chinese character for "Shang" and its long fast straights and combinations of both low and high speed corners are providing the teams with a challenging task when it comes to tyre choice and car set-up.
Bridgestone's engineers have consequently been working hard with their teams to ensure that the right data is gathered because the track is likely to have evolved considerably before Sunday. However, early results look promising with both the Scuderia Ferrari and Sauber teams running competitively today.
Hisao Suganuma, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager:
"The track was very green today as this is its first proper day in use. This means that the smooth but dirty track surface has resulted in some front tyre graining on our teams' tyres. This in turn is giving the cars understeer. However, the Bridgestone cars are not experiencing blistering problems, which is a good sign as this circuit has a very long straight and heat durability can be a factor."
"A rubber line is already developing and lap times have started to fall as the track cleans up. We expect track conditions will continue to improve and therefore the level of graining and understeer will be reduced. All in all, it has been a productive day with our teams working hard on their set-ups and tyre selections. Ferrari had a productive day and the Sauber cars were running well, which is a good indication that we can expect to be competitive this weekend."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:
"We haven't found a good balance on the cars yet so we've got some work to do overnight. We made some improvements between the first and second sessions but the car is not quite where we want it to be and still has some understeer. The track is changing quite a bit making it a moving target. Not having the balance yet won't make our tyre choice easy either but it wouldn't have been easy anyway with such a new track. We've got to second guess what the track is going to be like on Sunday after a lot more running and a lot more work.