French GP: Bridgestone Friday practice report

Bridgestone Motorsport's Friday Update Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) set the marker on the opening day of running for the French Grand Prix by using Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza tyre to set the day's fastest lap time at the...

Bridgestone Motorsport's Friday Update

Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) set the marker on the opening day of running for the French Grand Prix by using Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza tyre to set the day's fastest lap time at the 4.41km Magny Cours circuit in rural France for the eighth round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Massa set his time - a 1min 15.306secs - in the morning 90 minute practice session, where temperatures were cooler than those seen in the afternoon. Massa was almost seven tenths faster than the next driver, Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes). Heikki Kovalainen (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) went third fastest in this session.

In the afternoon, times were generally slower and Fernando Alonso (ING Renault F1 Team) went fastest with a 1min 15.778secs, set on the soft compound. Massa was second fastest, almost eight tenths adrift of Alonso's time. Kimi Raikkonen (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) was third quickest.

Bridgestone's medium and soft compounds were put through their paces on this tricky technical circuit. As often happens here, the track temperature varied significantly during the course of the sessions, making finding the correct set-up difficult for competitors. Despite some predictions of rain, the day remained dry and Bridgestone's wet and extreme wet tyres were not used.

Massa's best lap time achieved today was almost eight hundredths faster than last year's best time set in Friday's running, a 1min 15.382secs by Kimi Raikkonen (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) in FP1.

Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development, said:

"This morning the circuit was quite dirty as usual and we saw front tyre graining on some cars. In the afternoon session, the track was a lot cleaner and the graining vanished. The second session allowed teams to compare the medium and soft compounds and it seems that the soft compound has an initial advantage of 0.2 - 0.4 seconds. However, at the moment the rear tyre degradation of the soft compound is bigger than that of the medium compound. Tomorrow's running will be interesting as teams will gain more data and try to decide their strategy for the race."

Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 1218 laps
Average number of laps per driver: 61 laps
Most laps by a driver: 72 - Rosberg (AT&T Williams)
Fastest lap: 1min 15.306secs - Massa (FP1)
Compounds used: Medium / Soft

Qualifying in 2007

Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) set pole position using the soft compound Bridgestone Potenza tyre last season with a time of 1min 15.034secs, seven hundredths faster than Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. Kimi Raikkonen (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) and Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber F1 Team) qualified on the second row.

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Fernando Alonso , Lewis Hamilton , Felipe Massa , Heikki Kovalainen
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Renault F1 Team