By Alex Kapadia
Persistent rain during the Forumla One pre-season tests at Jerez has put the dampners on gathering vital tyres data, according to Bridgestone.
Although all the compounds were available to teams for testing, it was mainly the wet and intermediate tyres that were put through their paces at the Spanish circuit.
Jun Matsuzaki, assistant technical manager for Bridgestone motorsport, said: “I think this is the most rain ever seen in Jerez, and on Thursdsay night it was almost impossible to leave the circuit as there was so much water on the roads.
“Fortunately, there was no more rain left in the sky so we had good dry running on Friday and Saturday which was very valuable.
“The difficulty with wet conditions is that they are never constant so there are too many variables to ain good date and develop cars.
“If it is raining, the circuit is getting wetter so lap times become slower because of this. If it is a drying track, there will be imporoving lap times due to the improved track surface, a change to the car, or use of a different tyre. This makes it very difficult for everyone.
“Also, logistically, we had to bring out extra wet and intermediate tyres to enable the teams to continue running in these difficult conditions.”
Matsuzaki said that using these tyres before the teams have been able to get good dry set-ups on their cars has posed problems.
“This is important to have,” he explained “as it makes finding a wet-set up far easier.”
The additional weight of the fuel loads in this seaons car also adds to the difference in wear.
Matsukai said: “Jerez is a circuit which has quite high wear so we expect better performance as teams develop better set-ups on their cars and at less severe circuits than Jerez.”
Now Bridgestone are hoping for better weather during the Barcelona testing sessions, which will give them chance to assess the performance of the dry tyres.