Bridgestone's F1 chief has defended the decision to bring the softest compound of slick tyre to the Chinese grand prix.

Bridgestone's F1 chief has defended the decision to bring the softest compound of slick tyre to the Chinese grand prix.

Drivers at Shanghai slammed the move, after the 'super soft' option proved disastrously too fragile in Australia last month.

Even though the fears were not fully realised in Friday practice today, Sebastian Vettel jokingly thanked his helmet and visor "which protects my eyes as the rubber is coming off!"

But Bridgestone's director of motorsport Hirohide Hamashima said one of the factors in deciding tyre allocations is "feedback from the teams".

"All teams have a dedicated Bridgestone engineer who works with the drivers and team engineers so we have constant information regarding any tyre issues," he said on Friday.

"The teams are made aware of our allocations for races many weeks in advance, so there is plenty of time for feedback," said Hamashima.

This year, a bigger gap between tyre compounds is being used, ostensibly in an FIA move to spice up the show.

"This is in response to requests for this from the FIA and the teams. This gives more of a challenge for the races, and of course any change brings many opinions," Hamashima continued.

He argued that making the soft tyre work will be an interesting challenge this weekend.

"We saw different approaches to using the super soft tyre in Australia, with some approaches working much better than others, so it will be interesting to see competitors rise to the challenge here in Shanghai," said Hamashima.

 

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