Bridgestone has played down suggestions that Ferrari will have an advantage in 2007.
The Japanese supplier’s departing technical manager, Hisao Suganuma, said at Barcelona on Thursday that Ferrari’s total dominance of the first test on next year’s proposed sole tyre this week does not mean the Maranello based team has been given a head start.
“Our 2007 tyres are as new to Ferrari as they are to the other ten teams,” he insisted.
After years with Michelin, top teams including Renault, McLaren, BMW and Honda worked with Bridgestone for the first time in 2006 at the Catalan circuit in Spain.
But Suganuma said of Ferrari: “The only small advantage they have is in the personal relationships, which is natural.”
In the Spanish newspaper ‘Marca’, McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa agreed: “I don’t think Ferrari has a huge advantage. Within two months we will have all caught up.”
Suganuma also rejected reports that Bridgestone plan to test only a single specification of tyre throughout the entire winter. Instead, Suganuma said four different specs will be used, with one of the hardest in use this week.
A softer one is to be trialled mid next week when testing resumes at Jerez.
“During the winter we will evaluate the tyres with the teams and see if our plan is correct,” the Japanese explained.
“(And) if we need to develop the tyres further or introduce countermeasures we are able to do that.”