Bridgestone is confident that Fernando Alonso's fears of the Chinese Grand Prix being turned into a 'joke' because of tyre problems will prove unfounded.
Alonso slammed Bridgestone's decision to bring super soft tyres to the Shanghai event - fearing that they would last only a handful of laps before being destroyed by the demands of the track's high-speed corners.
The former world champion said: "I think it is the worst decision they made in a long time, because it is a ridiculous tyre for here, for Shanghai."
However, with data from Friday showing that the super soft tyres are lasting longer than some had originally feared, Bridgestone's director of motorsport tyre development Hirohide Hamashima is optimistic that the race will pass without major problems.
In fact, he says Alonso had even softened his criticisms after experiencing the tyres for himself in practice.
"I heard today a former champion said it was not so bad....so we are very happy with that comment," said Hamashima, when asked by AUTOSPORT about what his feelings on the tyre situation were.
"I agree that in Melbourne our prediction was a little bit wrong because we thought that the circuit improvement would be greater than happened.
"Temperature wise it affected it very big, and even during the race we did not see the circuit improvement. That is why the graining was very bad, that graining affected the lap time, and that is why Fernando said his original comments.
"However, here in China, of course at the beginning of first free practice the circuit was very, very green and dirty because it is the first 2009 race here. Many drivers commented, saying the circuit grip was much worse than last year.
"However by the end of second practice the circuit improvement was much, much bigger and I believe by Saturday we can get the target of circuit improvement that we want. In that case, the super soft will work over 10 laps."
Hamashima said that if track conditions pan out as he expects, then the lap time drop off caused by degradation of the super soft should be no more than two seconds per lap.
Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber was equally upbeat about the situation - having admitted pre-weekend to being nervous about tyre choice.
"They were better than we thought in practice," he said. "We expected the option to be a total disaster, but it was better that we thought.
"But the difference between the tyres choices, I am not a fan of at some venues. It does look very amateurish on track when we drive around three or four seconds adrift."
Brawn GP's Rubens Barrichello added about the tyre situation: "It is going to be a challenge for all of us. Apparently the temperature is going to go up and that will help both sets of tyres, but it will be a real challenge after the formation lap."