Bridgestone has confirmed the compound allocations for the first nine rounds of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship.

The allocations for the first nine races of the season are the same as used in the respective events in 2007 except for the Bahrain Grand Prix, which will now use the medium and soft compounds, as opposed to the hard and medium compounds in '07.

The medium and soft compounds will also be used at the season opening, Australian Grand Prix and at the French Grand Prix in June.

The Super Soft compound, which will be used at the Monaco Grand Prix and at the Canadian Grand Prix, is the only compound which has been modified for 2008. The other three compounds - hard, medium and soft remain the same, as do Bridgestone's wet and extreme wet tyres.

The tyre marking of the softer of the two tyres allocated to a grand prix meanwhile will continue with the bottom of the second from inside groove painted white.

"Tyre allocation choice for the first half of the season has been made easier by the continuity of our tyres from last year," explained Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone's director of motorsport development. "We have made a minor evolutionary change to the construction of the dry tyres for safety and we have modified the super soft compound, but apart from that the tyres are the same.

"However, we should see faster lap times as teams and drivers now have a year's experience with these tyres and the cars are being developed all the time.

"For Bahrain, having looked at the data we accumulated last year, and data from the recent test there, we are confident about using softer tyres.

"In the second half of the season we will have more of a challenge with tyre allocation as we visit two new street courses at Valencia and Singapore. These will be announced at a later date."

The compound allocations for the first nine events are as follows:

16 March Australia Albert Park Soft and Medium
23 March Malaysia Sepang Medium and Hard
6 April Bahrain Bahrain Soft and Medium
27 April Spain Catalunya Medium and Hard
11 May Turkey Istanbul Medium and Hard
25 May Monaco Monte Carlo Super Soft and Soft
08 June Canada Circuit Gilles Villeneuve Super Soft and Soft
22 June France Magny Cours Soft and Medium
06 July Britain Silverstone Medium and Hard

NB.

Tyre regulations are unchanged from those which occurred in 2007. Each driver will receive 14 sets of dry tyres for a grand prix, broken down into seven sets of each compound. Four sets of wet tyres and three sets of extreme wet tyres are additionally available to drivers.