Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tire Development

What was significant about today's running?

"Today we saw a very close and exciting battle for pole on an improving track surface which provided good entertainment for everyone. The surface evolution was very progressive today meaning that the tire graining we have seen so far diminished, although it was still a factor."

What are the tire strategy considerations for the race?

"The track surface condition is still not the same as we would generally see heading into a race and this is our first ever time here meaning that everyone will be very reactive to the developing situation. I am very interested to see how the track surface changes tomorrow afternoon. The top ten drivers start with their qualifying tires, so the number of laps they completed today is a factor, especially as they will start with a full fuel load with the softer option tire. Because of this we would expect relatively early stops from them. Given the circumstances we have seen so far this weekend, a two stop strategy is certainly worthy of consideration. If the rain that some predict does arrive then everything gets very interesting indeed as no-one knows what to expect."