Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tire Development
What was significant about today's running?
"Today the circuit surface delivered very little grip initially in the first practice, but this improved and the track was better in the afternoon. As we would expect on a Friday, we saw graining, but the amount of graining varied across the teams. Of particular note, the tyre appearance of the Brawn and Toyota cars was very beautiful and even, meaning they appear to be using their tyres well, but some other teams are still finding the best set-ups. In the second session we saw both tyres used and the performance of the super soft in terms of degradation was not as bad as in Australia."
Is the Super Soft tyre correct for Shanghai and how are the tyre allocations decided for races?
"We decide the allocations for the races based on many factors including past experience, test information and feedback from the teams. All teams have a dedicated Bridgestone engineer who works with the drivers and team engineers so we have constant information regarding any tyre issues. The teams are made aware of our allocations for races many weeks in advance, so there is plenty of time for feedback.
"For 2009 we are making a bigger difference between the two compounds and this is in response to requests for this from the FIA and the teams. This gives more of a challenge for the races, and of course any change brings many opinions. Here we have the medium tyre, which should be a strong race tyre, and the super soft, which will require good tyre management in terms of car set-up and driving style.
"Of course, we saw different approaches to using the super soft tyre in Australia, with some approaches working much better than others, so it will be interesting to see competitors rise to the challenge here in Shanghai."