Formula 1 tire supplier Bridgestone thinks managing the different compounds will be a bigger factor in this weekend's Italian Grand Prix than it was in Belgium two weeks ago.
Several teams struggled to get the most out of the soft and medium tires at Spa-Francorchamps, which helped play a role in Kimi Raikkonen and Giancarlo Fisichella enjoying their best results of the season. With the same types of tires being used at Monza this weekend, Bridgestone's director of motorsport tire development Hirohide Hamashima reckons that there is the chance of an equally topsy-turvy result.
"As we saw in Spa the allocation of the medium and the soft compound tires has the potential to provide interesting results," explained Hamashima. "The medium compound is the softest of our higher temperature working range tires and the soft is the hardest of our lower temperature working range tires. This means that their overall performance can be very similar, however their characteristics are different.
"In Spa we saw that different tires suited different car characteristics, set-ups and driver preference, so maybe it will be the same situation in Monza. However it is a more severe circuit so good tire management is likely to be a bigger factor. "
The characteristics of the tires in Belgium left many drivers struggling to work out which type was better for qualifying, or how to use them strategically in the race.