Bridgestone Explains Tire Behavior in Malaysia

Following the understeering claims issued by the majority of the drivers after the second practice session on the Sepang International Circuit – when they tried on the optional soft tire from Bridgestone – the Japanese manufacturer issued a press release explaining the behavior of their compound through Friday practice.

The track conditions seem good here today for the first day of running. Drivers were pushing hard, as shown by the lap times, and we did see understeer progressing to oversteer as a general trend. Graining was experienced on both front and rear tires so there are many factors of tire management to be considered,” said Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone's director of motorsport tire development.

According to Hamashima, car performances on different types of tires will not be very different – in terms of lap times – on the Sepang track, the only thing that should change dramatically between the two compounds (hard/soft) being durability.

The hot temperatures should mean that there is a clear difference in durability between the two compounds, however the best lap times should be quite close because the heat assists the warm-up of the higher temperature range hard tire,” added the Japanese official, hinting that some teams might opt for a hard compound in Q3 tomorrow – without compromising grid position – in order to ensure a longer first stint in the Sunday race.

He also insisted that rain should be taken into consideration in Sepang, given the fact that a heavy downpour started only minutes after P2 had ended on Friday. Under the circumstances, he reckoned the intermediate tires will unlikely be used by the teams, as the rain in Malaysia is “frequently very severe.
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