Top-10 to start Monaco and Super Soft tires
Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing) has used Bridgestone’s super soft compound tire to blast to his third pole position of 2010 with a new pole position record amidst the glamour of the tight and twisty streets of Monte Carlo for the Monaco Grand Prix.
Webber set a time of 1min 13.826secs and will be joined on the front row tomorrow by Renault F1 Team driver Robert Kubica, who was also fastest in the morning practice session, using the super soft compound for a 1min 14.806secs lap.
Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tire Development
What was significant about today’s running?
“Today was all about learning the track condition after a day of no Formula One Bridgestone rubber being laid on the surface yesterday. In the morning, track temperature was quite cool, so it took a little longer for both compounds to warm up to their ideal operating temperature.”
“In qualifying, finding a clear track was very difficult. In practice and qualifying, once drivers got their tires up to temperature they were rewarded with good performance from both compounds. Mark Webber was very fast, setting a new pole position record. Qualifying was so exciting today, particularly the last two minutes, and we are proud to support this excitement with our Bridgestone Potenza tires.”
What are the tire strategy considerations for tomorrow’s race?
“The top ten drivers will all start the race on the super soft Bridgestones, so it will be interesting to see when the first pit stops will be made. Track position before and after the pit stops will be very important as it is so difficult to overtake. The front runners will not want to be held up by their rivals or back markers so could pit to avoid this. They also will want to exit the pits in clear space too.”
“The track temperature will be a strong factor too as it has generally been cooler than expected here. Maintaining the condition of the super soft tires at the start of the race, as always, will be a crucial point, and the track condition improvement is likely to be very noticeable during the course of the race. It will also be interesting watching the tire strategy and progress of Fernando Alonso, as he seems to have a fast car, but will not start from where we would usually expect him to do so, due to missing qualifying.”