Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development
What was significant about today's running?
"Today we saw the track improve a lot during the course of the day as the surface improved with rubber put down. In the morning it was interesting as Jenson Button set the fastest time using the soft compound, but Jarno Trulli was second fastest using the hard compound. The soft compound was on average 0.6 seconds faster than the hard here."
How do you expect this allocation to work over the weekend?
"After one day's running here we predict that the soft tyre could be the preferred tyre for qualifying as well as the race. Both tyres have performed well today. This is a different hard compound from the one we tested here in the pre-season, but teams have quickly learnt its characteristics. The hard tyre does take longer to warm-up than the soft, and its best lap time is slower.
"Some teams found the hard compound we used in the winter tests here difficult to warm up, however everyone was able to get reasonable grip today which means our compound changes have worked. The soft compound has not shown any particular issues with degradation so we would expect that to be the preferred tyre for the race."