By Alex Kapadia
Bridgestone’s soft tyres were the fasted rubber on the track during the today’s practice session ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.
McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton topped the times in the afternoon at Shanghai, while team mate Jenson Button raced home in third place.
Hamilton set a 1:35.217 time midway through the afternoon practice session on a cool and dry circuit. Button had gone fastest in the morning practice session, using the hard compound to set a time of 1:36.677.
Hirohide Hamashima, director of motorsport tyre development for Bridgestone, said: “Today we faced a dirty and dusty track and we experienced relatively cool conditions, although not as cold as it was yesterday.
“As expected, there was not a lot of grip given by the track, although this improved through the day. We saw graining, particularly on the front tyres, although this was only mild and no cause for concern.”
He added: “The soft compound provided the fastest lap time today and a quicker warm-up, although the overall lap time difference was not as big as we have seen at some tracks.
“This could mean that some of the top teams opt for the hard compound in Q1 tomorrow to save their softer tyres for the later sessions.
“Of course, the last three out of four races here have been wet so the weather, as always, will be the most important consideration for tyre performance.”