This weekend's French Grand Prix is the first of 2010 for which Bridgestone will supply asymmetric rear slick tyres, in response to calls from riders during 2009 for greater use of the multi-compound slicks.
But only the harder of the rear slick tyre options in Le Mans is asymmetric though, combining soft compound rubber in the left shoulder with medium compound rubber in the right.
The softer option rear slicks are the same as were used last time in Jerez and use soft compound rubber in both shoulders to cater for low ambient and track temperatures.
The asymmetric rear slicks will provide added durability through the nine right-handed corners of Le Mans without sacrificing warm-up performance of the left shoulder of the tyres through the four left-handers.
But wet weather tyres could well be needed on race day, at least if past history is anything to go by.
“Race day at the French Grand Prix has been affected by rain every year since 2005, so it seems reasonable to expect more this year!” said Hiroshi Yamada, manager of Bridgestone's Motorsport Department. “In contrast to last season though, we haven't had a wet session since the first Sepang test at the start of February.
“Rain-interrupted races often produce unpredictable results, like Marco [Melandri's] fantastic ride to second position in France last year, so I am looking forward to what I'm sure will be another exciting battle at Le Mans.”