Japanese GP: Bridgestone Friday practice report

Bridgestone Motorsport's Friday Update Timo Glock (Panasonic Toyota Racing) set the marker on the opening day of running for the Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix by using Bridgestone's soft compound Potenza tyre to set Friday's fastest lap...

Bridgestone Motorsport's Friday Update

Timo Glock (Panasonic Toyota Racing) set the marker on the opening day of running for the Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix by using Bridgestone's soft compound Potenza tyre to set Friday's fastest lap time at the 4.56km Fuji Speedway for the sixteenth round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Glock set his time - a 1min 18.383secs - in the afternoon 90 minute practice session. He was four hundredths of a second faster than the next driver, Fernando Alonso (ING Renault F1 Team). Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) was third fastest. In the morning Hamilton set the fastest time, a 1min 18.910secs, using the medium compound. He was over a tenth faster than Massa, who also set his fastest time on the medium compound in this session. Heikki Kovalainen (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) was third fastest.

Both sessions were dry today and Bridgestone's medium and soft compound Potenza F1 tyres were used. For the Japanese Grand Prix both dry compounds feature painted grooves, with four green grooves on the medium compound and three green and one white on the soft compound. This is to show Bridgestone's support for the FIA's Make Cars Green environmental campaign, designed to encourage drivers to 'think green' when they drive.

Glock's fastest time was almost four tenths faster than the fastest Friday time set last season, a 1min 18.734secs, set by Hamilton. Times from all competitors were very close, with all but the slowest three drivers within a second of Glock's time in the afternoon session.

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

"Today we saw a green circuit, as well as green grooves on our tyres. Grip was initially difficult to find from the track, but we expect to see improvement over the weekend. Performance from the medium compound was very consistent and the data we have so far shows that this will be a good race tyre. The soft tyre has a lap time advantage for the first few laps and we saw a very good lap time today from Timo Glock's Toyota using this tyre, which we expect to be favoured for qualifying. The wear rate of the rear tyres was more than that on the fronts. As expected, the long left hand 100R corner is crucial for tyre management and set-ups, so it will be interesting to see how teams deal with the challenge of this corner through the weekend."

Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 1345 laps
Average number of laps per driver: 67 laps
Most laps by a driver: 81 - Glock
Fastest lap: 1min 18.383secs - Glock (FP2)
Compounds used: Medium / Soft

Qualifying in 2007

Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) set the fastest lap time in qualifying last season, setting a 1min 25.368secs, using the extreme wet tyre. His team-mate Fernando Alonso qualified second and Kimi Raikkonen (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) third. It was an interesting day as morning practice started late then was cancelled due to fog stopping the safety helicopter from flying.

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Fernando Alonso , Lewis Hamilton , Heikki Kovalainen , Timo Glock
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren , Toyota Racing , Renault F1 Team