The Toyota team has admitted that it is pleased that Bridgestone has decided to revise its tyre selection policy for the forthcoming summers grands prix, after fearing that the original choices for this weekend's Hungarian race would have been inappropriate.
Bridgestone implemented the decision to have a one-compound gap between the two tyres it took to races this season, in a bid to add another strategic element to spice up the action in F1, but has since opted to reverse the policy to cope with what it fears will be unsuitable conditions in Hungary, Valencia, Belgium and Italy.
“We have made the change to the tyre allocation concept based on the data we have collected from races so far this year, combined with our knowledge of the tracks we visit for these races," Bridgestone director of motorsport tyre development Hirohide Hamashima explained recently, "The cars of 2009 are very different to those used last year, so we have learnt a lot so far this year, and [know] they use their tyres differently from before."
The Hungaroring has often been compared to Monaco because of its sinuous nature, and will now receive the same tyre options as the Principality - which also bucked the 2009 tyre option policy - despite the likelihood of hot weather in Budapest for the 24th running of the Hungarian Grand Prix. After disappointing races in the cooler temperatures of both Britain and Germany, Toyota travels east with a further package of upgrades on the TF109, including a rear wing evolution.
"We are looking forward with optimism to the Hungarian Grand Prix," senior general manager Pascal Vasselon commented, "Even though the Hungaroring is a low average speed circuit, it consists mainly of medium-speed corners with very few really slow corners, so you still need plenty of downforce. The track is quite hard on brakes, which is demanding in terms of braking stability and cooling, and tyre grip and consistency management can be a challenge because the track surface and layout are very specific.
"That created a risk that the hard specifications would struggle for grip, while the soft specs could suffer severe graining, but Bridgestone has reacted so we will use the soft and supersoft tyres to avoid that situation. We are likely to face high ambient temperatures this weekend, but the cooling efficiency of our car is very good so we can cope with these conditions without degrading the aerodynamic performance."
The track has been a happy hunting ground in recent years, with the team having a presence in the top six in qualifying and the race on each of its last four visits. Timo Glock took the prized souvenir of a maiden F1 podium there last year, when he finished in second place behind first-time winner Heikki Kovalainen, adding to Ralf Schumacher's third place from 2005.
"Obviously, Hungary is a special race in my career after the podium there last season - that was the first of several strong points finishes for me and I hope another competitive weekend there can get the ball rolling again this year," the German admits.
"I am in a positive mood and optimistic I can score again. It was disappointing to just miss the points at the last race, especially in front of my home fans, but I made up eleven places after starting from the pit-lane, so we have the potential to finish much higher.