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Bridgestone happy with tyre performance 19 Mar 2007

Bridgestone tyres.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 16 March 2007

Bridgestone came away pleased with the performance of their 2007 rubber in Melbourne, after taking charge of their first Grand Prix as Formula One racing’s sole tyre supplier. With no Michelin this season, Bridgestone tyres were used by all 11 teams for the Australian event.

“I am very satisfied with the outcome we have seen in this first race of the season,” explained Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone’s head of track engineering operations. “We fitted more than 1800 tyres this weekend for which we had to increase our staff. Everybody worked very hard, but in good Japanese tradition there is always room to improve.”

In line with the 2007 regulations, Bridgestone furnished every team with two tyre compounds (medium and soft) at Albert Park. With the rules stipulating that all drivers use both specifications during the race, most drivers - 14 out of 22 - relied on the medium tyres during the earlier stages, before opting to use the softer rubber - which in practice proved quicker, but more susceptible to graining - for their final push towards the finish line.

“Both specifications of tyres performed as our simulations predicted,” said van de Grint. “The medium compound was very consistent and the soft compound was more of a challenge for the teams. Despite the large quantity of tyres used this weekend, we did not experience any tyre problems. (Toro Rosso’s) Scott Speed did suffer from falling pressure in his front tyres, but from our and the team’s investigations we found these to be from air leakage which was not related to the tyres.”

Bridgestone will rely on their medium and hard compounds for the next race, the Malaysian Grand Prix in just under three week’s time, when they will put the lessons of Melbourne into practice. “We have an even better idea what to do for the future and I look forward to the next tough challenge in Sepang,” concluded van de Grint.