Webber on Top with Bridgestone’s Soft Tyre
Bridgestone’s soft tyre took Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber to the fastest time in practice for the first ever Korean Grand Prix. Webber set a 1:37:942 lap time midway through the afternoon practice session at the newly constructed Korean International Circuit in Yeongam, approximately 400km south of the South Korean capital of Seoul. There seem to be plenty of challenges for Bridgestone at the new circuit, with a dirty, slippy surface and three distinct sectors putting different pressures on the rubber. Webber's teammate Sebastian Vettel suffered a puncture, leaving him seventh fastest.
Bridgestone motorsport tyre development director, Hirohide Hamashima noted the “phenomenal amount of track surface evolution through today’s sessions”, with the first lap of the day clocking in at 2:20 – over 42 seconds slower than Webber’s best lap – on an “exceptionally slippery” surface.
Hamashima continued: “I believe there is still potential for further track improvement tomorrow, especially if the weather remains dry and warm like today.”
In terms of the tyre allocation’s performance, Hamashima stressed the importance of the track surface evolution: “We saw a lot of graining on both compounds front and rear today. This is related to the dirty surface as the tyres cannot grip the tarmac properly. This situation should continue to improve with the track surface evolution tomorrow.
“We expect that the option tyre should give a faster lap time and if the surface continues to improve it should have reasonable durability. How much durability depends on the track surface evolution so this will be the crucial question for the next two days.”
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