Turkish GP: Bridgestone Friday practice report

Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) set the marker on the opening day of running for the Petrol Ofisi Turkish Grand Prix by using Bridgestone's hard compound Potenza tyre to set the day's fastest lap time at the 5.34 km Istanbul Park Circuit...

Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) set the marker on the opening day of running for the Petrol Ofisi Turkish Grand Prix by using Bridgestone's hard compound Potenza tyre to set the day's fastest lap time at the 5.34 km Istanbul Park Circuit for the fifth round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Massa set his, and the day's, fastest time in the morning 90 minute practice session and his 1min 27.323secs was over a tenth faster than second fastest driver Heikki Kovalainen (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), who was back in the car for the first time after his accident in the Spanish Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) was third fastest in this session.

In the afternoon practice session it was Massa's team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen who went fastest, setting a time of 1min 27.543secs, also on the hard compound. Hamilton was the second fastest driver in this session, going just over three hundredths slower, using the medium compound. Massa was third fastest in this session. This practice was interrupted by red flags with 30 minutes elapsed after an off from Mark Webber (Red Bull). Before the session started there was rain at the circuit, meaning that Bridgestone's wet weather tyres were used by some drivers in their opening laps.

Both Bridgestone's hard and medium compounds were put through their paces on this, the first anticlockwise circuit of the season. This year the Turkish Grand Prix is taking place in May so weather conditions are considerably colder than previous events at this track, which took place in August. Despite this, the nature of the circuit layout means sufficient heat is generated in the tyres in the course of a lap, and the lap times were quicker than the Friday fastest from last season, a 1min 27.988secs set by Raikkonen in FP1.

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

"Today the temperature was quite a lot cooler than we have seen at previous Turkish Grands Prix, but we expected this with the change of date. On the medium compound we did see more graining than we have previously experienced here, particularly on the front right. However, the circuit was very green today and we can expect a circuit improvement tomorrow and on Sunday. With the track improvements we should see better tyre performance from both the hard and the medium compounds."

Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 867 laps
Average number of laps per driver: 43 laps
Most laps by a driver: 58 - Fisichella (Force India)
Fastest lap: 1min 27.323secs - Massa (FP1)
Compounds used: Hard / Medium / Wet

Qualifying in 2007

Felipe Massa set pole position using the medium compound Bridgestone Potenza tyre last season with a time of 1min 27.329secs, four hundredths quicker than Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), who was second fastest. Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) qualified on the second row.

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Mark Webber , Kimi Raikkonen , Fernando Alonso , Lewis Hamilton , Felipe Massa , Heikki Kovalainen
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren , Force India