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Q&A with Bridgestone’s van de Grint 16 Feb 2007

Kees van der Grint (NED) Ferrari Bridgestone Engineer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Brazil, 20 October 2006

Following the three-day test at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya earlier this week, Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport’s head of track engineering operations, discusses what progress has been made in terms of tyres ahead of the Bahrain tests later this month…

Q: What has been learnt at this test?
KvdG:
We have learnt that the hard compound specification is, in our opinion, a correct choice for this circuit. Positively, it was proven by some teams that you can run with the tyre for a full stint with good degradation results. It was nice to see that the tyre was capable of setting the quickest lap time at the end of the stint.

Q: Has the new section of Spanish track made any difference?
KvdG:
The new corner has not provided any surprises from a tyre point of view. That part of the circuit, especially on Monday, was quite slippery but that is normal and is what you would expect from new tarmac. Other than that it was no issue for us concerning the tyres.

Q: Are you happy with the compounds tested so far?
KvdG:
From what we have seen so far in testing there is no reason to change the specification of the tyres we have produced, we have produced a good tyre for the teams to race on for this season.

Q: Has it been a surprise to see teams doing such long stints with the tyres?
KvdG:
It was not a surprise that teams could run for so long on one set of tyres. We think we did our homework quite well in the winter and I think the tyres are quite suitable. Having said that, we need to bear in mind that we will go to a much hotter climate in the future.

Q: How 'hard' is the hard tyre?
KvdG:
It's a difficult question as the words hard and soft are all relative. It is a number of steps harder than we would use at the same circuit in a competitive environment but we have to remember that these tyres are still very high performance tyres.