By Alex Kapadia
Bridgestone’s super-soft tyres helped Mark Webber storm to his third pole position of the 2010 Formula One season ahead of tomorrow’s Monaco Grand Prix.
The Red Bull racer will lead the pack onto the tight and twisty streets of Monte Carlo after setting a new pole position record on the softer tyres.
Hirohide Hamashima, director of motorsport tyre development for Bridgestone, said: “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 tyres 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.”
He added: “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 tyres 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 tyres.”