Bridgestone remain positive about their tyre range this season as Fernando Alonso led a Ferrari 1-2 in the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend. Both drivers used a strategy of super-soft followed by medium tyres, as did third place man Lewis Hamilton.
However, many will say that Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Bridgestone Racing, was watching a different race to the rest of us when they read his post race comments: “What a great way to start Bridgestone's fourteenth season of Formula One racing, with great battles right to the chequered flag at the new layout of Sakhir circuit in Bahrain. The new regulations have given all teams a good challenge and provided all of the viewers around the world a very exciting first race of the season.”
Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Developement summarised the race from the companies point of view, and notes that teams are still able to set fast times on used tyres. “Today we were very happy with tyre performance. This was the first race under these new regulations so no-one knew exactly what to expect. Sebastian Vettel did a great job to manage his super softs at the beginning of the race, making the same set he used for qualifying last the longest of all the front runners. Fernando Alonso drove a very intelligent race for his win, and he was able to set the fastest lap near the end, showing he had managed his tyres very well. It was great to see Felipe Massa back on the podium.
“Tyre management, as expected, was very important in this first race with no refuelling. The cars and drivers which were more forgiving to their tyres were rewarded with more durable performance. This was only the first of 19 races this season. I think we all have a lot to learn about this season's best tyre strategies and it will be fascinating unlocking the secrets for the best performance in the races ahead.”