Bridgestone's super soft Potenza tyre took Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton to the fastest lap time on the first day of running for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton set a 1min 40.888secs lap in the later of the two afternoon sessions held at the Yas Marina
circuit. Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel was fastest in the earlier session, using the medium compound.
Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development
What was significant about today's running?
"Very unusually we had rain today, and we saw use of Bridgestone's wet and intermediate tyres at the beginning of the first session when the circuit was still damp in places. Once the dry tyres were used, drivers encountered a very slippery and green surface so we saw a lot of sliding and resultant graining on both front and rear tyres. This graining occurred even when used with low fuel loads on the harder medium compound, showing just how slippery it was. The track surface improved considerably in the second session, as shown by the quicker lap times. There was much less graining - next to none with the medium compound - however it was still seen on the super soft compound when used with heavier fuel loads."
How do you expect this allocation to work over the weekend?
"Today it was difficult to discern the lap time difference between the two compounds, and I think the characteristics of the circuit mean that there will not be a huge difference for this weekend. Last year we saw pole position achieved with the prime tyre and this could happen again this year. This does mean that it is more open for different strategies in the race. The track surface is likely to continue to improve significantly through the weekend if it follows the same trend as last year. It would be very interesting if we saw rain again, but I do not think this likely."