Bridgestone has expressed concerns that drivers could run out of intermediate tyres if the balance of the race weekend continues to occur in mixed weather conditions.
With the opening practice sessions being run in wet/dry conditions and with drivers limited to just four sets of intermediate tyres over the course of a race weekend, the likelihood that they may run out of usable tyres is of concern for Bridgestone.
Bridgestone’s head of motorsport tyre development, Hirohide Hamashima, was critical of teams who ran intermediate tyres in the second practice session, where conditions were much drier.
“In FP2 I was very surprised that everybody wasted one set of intermediates,” he said. “The majority of the opinion is that the intermediate performance was going down after five to 10 laps.
“I am very worried that if they start the race with the intermediate and then rain comes 10 laps in, performance will be not enough. So then tyre management will be very, very crucial,” he added.
Hamashima added that he was unsure if the current tyre allocation rules – limiting drivers to three sets of wet tyres and four sets of intermediate tyres – has historically proved sufficient, but admits that this weekend’s unique conditions have cast that in doubt.
[Original image via Sutton Images]