Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) took Bridgestone's soft compound tyre to pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix after a scintillating 1m 34.558secs lap of the Shanghai International Circuit.
Vettel will be joined on the front row tomorrow by team-mate Mark Webber, who
was fastest in the morning practice session. Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver Fernando Alonso
and Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team driver Nico Rosberg will start from the second row.
Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development
What was significant about today's running?
"Qualifying was very interesting and congratulations to Sebastian Vettel for a very intelligent pole position where he managed our soft compound very well. The key to a fast qualifying lap here today was to conserve the soft compound tyres through the first sector to be able to push harder in sector two and three. Pushing too hard in sector one meant that there was not the same amount of rear stability from the tyres in the second two sectors."
What are the tyre strategy considerations for tomorrow's race?
"Assuming it is dry, all of the top ten competitors will start on the soft compound. Only considering the tyre performance we would expect people to make their first stops from around lap 20. Through tyre management drivers should be able to make their tyres last longer than this, and it will be good to see who opts for which approach. Rubens Barrichello
is the first driver in the field who can choose his starting tyre, so we will watch his decision keenly. Of course, there are many predictions for wet weather tomorrow, but as we saw in Malaysia, weather predictions cannot always be believed."