Bridgestone Motorsport's Friday Update Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) set the marker on the opening day of running for the German Grand Prix - the Grosser Preis Santander von Deutschland - by using Bridgestone's medium compound...
Bridgestone Motorsport's Friday Update
Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) set the marker on the opening day of running for the German Grand Prix - the Grosser Preis Santander von Deutschland - by using Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza tyre to set the day's fastest lap time at the 4.57 km Hockenheim circuit in Baden-Wurttenberg, for the tenth round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship.
Hamilton set his time - a 1min 15.025 secs - in the afternoon 90 minute practice session, when the track was drier and the temperatures were warmer than those seen in the morning. Hamilton was almost seven tenths faster than the next driver, Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro). Massa's team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen, went third fastest in this session.
In the morning drivers initially faced a wet circuit and both Bridgestone's wet and extreme wet tyres were used. The circuit dried and lap times fell rapidly, with Bridgestone's dry grooved tyres being used in the latter third of the 90 minute session. Hamilton was also fastest in this session, with a 1min 15.537 secs, set on the hard compound Potenza. Hamilton's team-mate, Heikki Kovalainen was second fastest with a time just over a tenth slower. Massa was third quickest in this session.
This is the first race weekend where the current range of Bridgestone Potenza tyres have been used at Hockenheim. Lap times were faster than those set on Friday's running when Formula One last visited here two years ago, when there was tyre competition. Today's fastest lap time was just under a second adrift of pole position in 2006.
Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development, said:
"This morning track conditions were changing very quickly as the circuit dried, so we couldn't collect much useful tyre data. In the afternoon, however, the circuit was improving with every lap. Both the hard and medium compound worked well, so it is difficult to say which will be the better for tomorrow's qualifying and Sunday's race. Some cars and drivers had an advantage with the medium tyre today, but others had an advantage with the hard. We will now analyse the wear rate and discuss the data with the teams to get a fuller picture for this weekend."
Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 1156 laps
Average number of laps per driver: 58 laps
Most laps by a driver: 74 - Trulli (Toyota)
Fastest lap: 1min 15.025 secs - Hamilton (FP2)
Compounds used: Hard / Medium / Wet / Extreme Wet
Qualifying in 2006
Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren Mercedes) set pole position when Formula One last visited Hockenheim with a time of 1min 14.070 secs, over a tenth faster than Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver Michael Schumacher. Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) and Jenson Button (Honda) qualified on the second row.