Bridgestone Explains Super Soft Tire Choice

Bridgestone today explained their strange pick in terms of tire compound for the ongoing Chinese Grand Prix this weekend. The Japanese tire manufacturer allocated the super soft slick compound as the optional tire for the Shanghai race, leading to a world of criticism from all F1 drivers.

Alonso was the first driver to criticize the move, as he argued the time differences between using the hard and the super-soft compounds will be of up to 6 seconds per lap. He also insisted that, following the super soft fiasco during the Australian Grand Prix, bringing the same compound to a circuit where track temperatures are the same or even higher than in Melbourne is unexplainable.

While testing the compound during Friday's second practice session, the lap times grew visibly. On the downside, however, tire degradation became a serious issue through the mid-session, leading Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel to jokingly thank his helmet and visor “which protects my eyes as the rubber is coming off!”

Nevertheless, Bridgestone's director of motorsport Hirohide Hamashima insisted the decision to bring back the super-soft compound for the China event was taken in compliance with the teams' requests.

“All teams have a dedicated Bridgestone engineer who works with the drivers and team engineers so we have constant information regarding any tire issues. The teams are made aware of our allocations for races many weeks in advance, so there is plenty of time for feedback,” said Hamashima.

He also argued that the bigger difference between tire allocations this season is a direct consequence of FIA's trying to spice up the show in Formula 1. Although heavily criticized by the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA), the move is considered to pose an interesting challenge for all teams, argued Hamashima.

“We saw different approaches to using the super soft tire 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,” added the Japanese official.
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