European GP: Bridgestone Saturday qualifying notes

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen made the most of an interrupted qualifying session to set pole position on Bridgestone's soft compound Potenza for tomorrow's European Grand Prix. Raikkonen set a 1min 31.450secs lap around the 5.15 km Nurburgring in the...

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen made the most of an interrupted qualifying session to set pole position on Bridgestone's soft compound Potenza for tomorrow's European Grand Prix.

Raikkonen set a 1min 31.450secs lap around the 5.15 km Nurburgring in the final moments of the qualifying session which was interrupted by a crash into the tyre barriers by McLaren Mercedes driver, and championship leader, Lewis Hamilton.

The team and Bridgestone engineers confirmed the cause of the incident was not tyre-related. Hamilton was taken to the medical centre for checks.

Raikkonen's pole lap was achieved in the final moments of the restarted qualifying session, and he was almost three tenths faster than second placed Fernando Alonso (McLaren Mercedes). Felipe Massa (Ferrari) and Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber) will start from the second row.

Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport Head of Track Engineering Operations:

"Today's exciting qualifying session, in which we saw a number of drivers challenging for pole, was unfortunately overshadowed by Lewis Hamilton's accident. The incident itself was not caused by the tyre. The sudden loss of air pressure was caused by a mechanical issue that the team are investigating, and I hope that Lewis is in good shape to race tomorrow."

"Tyre graining was still evident this morning, but less than it was yesterday. The medium compound Bridgestone Potenza is more consistent, but for those who can use the higher grip, the soft has a lap time advantage. Everyone in the top ten except Hamilton set their times on the soft compound Potenza."

"In terms of strategy tomorrow it looks quite straightforward from what we've seen so far. However, if one of the weather forecasts is to be believed, and rain becomes a reality, we could see two other tyres in use with the Bridgestone Potenza wet and extreme wet tyres."

Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 674 laps
Average number of laps per car: 31 laps
Most laps by a driver: 43 laps - Ralf Schumacher
Fastest lap: 1m 30.912s - Massa in Q2
Compounds: Medium and soft

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Nick Heidfeld , Kimi Raikkonen , Fernando Alonso , Lewis Hamilton
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren