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Q&A with Bridgestone’s Jun Matsuzaki 07 Dec 2009

Bridgestone tyres.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Preparations, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Thursday, 29  October 2009 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB5 Formula One Young Driver Testing, 1-3 December 2009, Jerez Circuit, Spain. Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Williams FW31 Formula One Young Driver Testing, 1-3 December 2009, Jerez Circuit, Spain.

Bridgestone’s 2009 specification Formula One tyres got their final test outing last week as 20 up-and-coming young drivers covered 2,602 laps at Jerez. The next group test will be at the beginning of February at Valencia, where the teams will get to sample the Japanese company’s 2010 spec rubber. So what did Bridgestone learn in Spain and what will change next year when refuelling is banned? Jun Matsuzaki, Bridgestone Motorsport’s chief engineer, explains…

Q: What was learnt from this test?
Jun Matsuzaki:
This was an interesting test as we had many different drivers, most of whom had little or no experience of Formula One cars. The teams all had different programmes, and all four 2009 dry compounds were available to them. There was a lot of running with heavy cars to simulate the heavier fuel loads of next season so we gained useful data from this.

Q: How was the feedback from the young drivers?
JM:
It was good to see so many young drivers here at the same test, and there were more experienced F1 test drivers in action too, so we had a good benchmark. We could see some of these names again in the future and our current F1 drivers will always need to keep looking over their shoulders because of these youngsters.

Q: What will be the changes to the tyres for the next test?
JM:
Our 2010 tyres are designed for the requirements of the heavier fuel loads in next year's cars and also for the potential different pit stop strategies we could see without refuelling. The construction is more durable, and the compounds have also been modified. A narrower front tyre will also be introduced to adjust the basic balance of the cars. As tyre characteristics will be changed due to the modifications, we are now working very hard with all teams to enhance their understanding of this. We are very looking forward to seeing how quickly the teams maximise tyre performance within the new regulations of 2010.