Bridgestone praised Jenson Button’s tyre management skills as he won the Australian Grand Prix using a single set of soft tyres for all but the first six laps of the race.
The rest of the podium finishers used the same tyre strategy of intermediate followed by the soft compound of the dry tyres, although Button was the first to make his pit stop. Mark Webber set the fastest lap of the race using the same soft compound.
Hiroshi Yasukawa, the Director of Bridgestone Motorsport, said the great race in Melbourne and showed of the company’s products well. “What an entertaining race and superb showcase for our Bridgestone tyre technology. Congratulations to Jenson Button for his first win for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, and well done to Robert Kubica for his strong second place for the Renault F1 Team. Albert Park provided an excellent race environment and we are happy to have seen exciting racing for the fans here and around the world.”
Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, gave a detailed evaluation of the tyres in today’s race. “This was a great day for tyre performance, strategy and racing as we saw interesting action on track and a good illustration of the benefits of tyre management. The soft tyre was the preferred race tyre once the track dried, and this is a reflection of the track and weather conditions suiting the lower temperature working range tyre.
“Jenson Button did a superb job to look after his soft tyres for 52 laps for an impressive victory. Robert Kubica also completed a long stint showing good tyre management for second place. There was an interesting battle between the one stop strategies of the Ferraris and the two stop strategy of Lewis Hamilton. We are happy with the performance of our intermediate tyres which were used to start the race, with these heavy cars, and then performed well as the track dried.
“Careful tyre management meant the soft could last for so long in today's conditions and this provided a showcase of driver tyre management skills. The degradation of the soft was less than we would have seen on a fully dry track, and the lap times were quite slow because of this. The hard compound, as used by Rubens Barrichello, also delivered a good performance so we are happy.”