By Alex Kapadia
Bridgestone’s 2009 Formula One tyres got their final test outing last week as 20 up-and-coming young racing drivers put them through their paces at Jerez in Spain.
Jun Matsuzaki, Bridgestone’s chief engineer, was quizzed about what they learned in Spain and what will be the impact on the tyres of next season ban on refuelling.
He told formula1.com: “This was an interesting test as we had many different drivers, most of whom had little or no experience of Formula One cars. The teams all had different programmes, and all four 2009 dry compounds were available to them.
“There was a lot of running with heavy cars to simulate the heavier fuel loads of next season so we gained useful data from this.
“It was good to see so many young drivers here at the same test, and there were more experienced F1 test drivers in action too, so we had a good benchmark.
“Our 2010 tyres are designed for the requirements of the heavier fuel loads in next year’s cars and also for the potential different pit stop strategies we could see without refuelling.
“The construction is more durable, and the compounds have also been modified. A narrower front tyre will also be introduced to adjust the basic balance of the cars.
“As tyre characteristics will be changed due to the modifications, we are now working very hard with all teams to enhance their understanding of this.
“We are very looking forward to seeing how quickly the teams maximise tyre performance within the new regulations of 2010.”
The next group test will be at the beginning of February at Valencia, where the teams will get to sample the Japanese company’s 2010 spec tyres.