Bridgestone predict that the British weather could be a determining factor for the teams as they decide their tyre strategies for this weekend’s grand prix at Silverstone.
The slippery tarmac that makes up the new arena section is expected to “rubber-in” as the weekend goes on, and Silverstone predict few problems with grip there come race day.
“Today we experienced Silverstone's new layout for the first time in Formula One,” said Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development. “The track layout is certainly interesting and it was good to see the drivers adapt to this new challenge. The track surface was slippery which was illustrated many times as drivers battled a lack of grip.
“The surface improved quite a lot through the sessions, and I think there is still room for further surface improvement tomorrow. Temperatures were higher than we've seen here for the past few seasons and this had an impact on tyre performance.
“Drivers will have to be careful not to overheat their tyres, and those who do not will be rewarded with better performance.”
When asked how the team’s are likely to allocate the tyre compounds this weekend, Hamashima explained that the temperature would play a key role in this decision. “A lot depends on the weather,” he said. “The track layout and surface here puts a lot of heat into the tyres and the ambient and track temperatures add to this.
“When the tyres get very hot the rubber of the softer one moves around more. This means that the greater heat durability of the hard tyre becomes more desirable, even if it doesn't offer the same amount of initial grip as the soft.
“Because of these factors, the choice for qualifying and the race could be challenging and interesting this weekend.”