Bridgestone's soft tyre helped Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton go fastest at Albert Park for the first day of practice for the Australian Grand Prix.
Hamilton set a 1m 25.801secs early in the second practice session, before significant rain fell on the track.
He was fastest from team-mate Jenson Button
, who used the hard compound for his fastest lap. Renault F1 Team driver Robert Kubica was quickest in the first practice session, also using the hard compound Bridgestone Potenza. Because of the rain, Bridgestone's intermediate tyres were used in the latter practice session, for the first time this season.
Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development
What was significant about today's running?
"The day started with the expected dusty track so there was a lot of surface improvement through the first session. Everyone used the hard Potenza in FP1 for their set-up work but it was difficult to understand car potential without knowing the fuel loads in the cars. The second practice session had rain and we saw some good use of the intermediate tyre. This tyre worked well in damp and drying conditions so we are confident of its performance if rain returns."
How do you expect this allocation to work over the weekend?
"This is a difficult question to answer due to the mixed weather conditions in FP2. The target of teams in this session is to compare the performance between the hard and soft compounds, but the Melbourne weather interrupted this. At the end of the session there were still small drops of rain falling from the sky, but there was still use of the soft compound. We saw expected levels of graining on this tyre for a 'green' track. The running we have had so far is insufficient for conclusions to be drawn, so tomorrow's practice will be very important."