Bridgestone tyres slow to warm up in Barcelona

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Bridgestone’s tyres were slow to warm up on the first day of practice for tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix.

It was the soft tyres that allowed Red Bull racer Sebastian Vettel to complete the fastest time yesterday at the cool and cloudy Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

Vettel set a time of 1:19.965 in the afternoon session, leaving him quickest ahead of team-mate Mark Webber.

Hirohide Hamashima, director of motorsport tyre development for Bridgestone, said: “Today was rather cold for Barcelona in May, and it did take slightly longer for our tyres to warm-up than we would see in hotter conditions.

“In fact, today’s weather was quite similar in some respects to that seen at the test here in February, so there were not many surprises.

“The track temperature was warmer in the afternoon and we did see a good improvement in grip from the track surface.

“Lap times were quick, with Vettel’s time faster than the overall lap record for pole, so we can expect some fast times if it remains dry this weekend.”

He added: “We evaluated the hard compound after the first practice session and there was graining on this tyre, and in particular on the front left.

“This was the same for the soft tyre in the afternoon session, especially when it was used with heavy fuel loads. The graining on the hard tyre was far less in the afternoon, thanks to the improved track surface.

“Controlling the graining on the soft tyre will be the challenge for all competitors this weekend. Of course, as we have seen many times so far this season, the weather and potential for rain is also a factor.”

Alex Kapadia, Operations Team

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