Bahrain GP: Bridgestone Friday practice report

Bridgestone Motorsport's Friday Update Felipe Massa (Ferrari) set the marker on the opening day of running for the Gulf Air Grand Prix by using Bridgestone's soft compound Potenza tyre to set the day's fastest lap time at the 5.41 km Bahrain ...

Bridgestone Motorsport's Friday Update

Felipe Massa (Ferrari) set the marker on the opening day of running for the Gulf Air Grand Prix by using Bridgestone's soft compound Potenza tyre to set the day's fastest lap time at the 5.41 km Bahrain International Circuit for the third round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Massa set a time of 1min 31.420secs making him the fastest man by over nine tenths of a second from his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. The day's fastest time came in the final moments of the second of the two 90 minute practice sessions held today.

The morning practice session also saw Massa go quickest, using the medium compound to set a time of 1min 32.233sec, just over a tenth faster than Raikkonen. In the morning it was Nico Rosberg (Williams) who was closest to the Ferraris, with a time just under a tenth slower than Raikkonen. The afternoon session saw Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren Mercedes) the closest with a time just over four tenths slower than Raikkonen.

Both Bridgestone's medium and soft compounds were put through their paces on the track located close to Bahrain's capital, Manama. The track started the day quite sandy and this gave drivers cause for caution, especially as they no longer have traction control, and this is a circuit where there are strong demands for traction out of low speed corners.

The best lap time achieved today was over a second and a half quicker than the fastest Friday lap time last year, a 1min 33.162secs by Raikkonen in FP1.

Tetsuro Kobayashi - Technical Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport, said: "Today was very interesting in terms of tyre performance. Both compounds performed better than anticipated, especially with the sandy circuit we see on the first day of running here in Bahrain. All the teams made good use of the medium compound and found good consistency with this tyre. The soft compound provided higher initial grip and faster lap times, and the quickest lap time we saw today was faster than the best we saw on Friday last year. For competitors with a good setup and car balance the soft compound could be the favoured tyre for the race. Several, but not all, teams fall into this category so we could have a very interesting race in terms of tyre strategy on Sunday."

Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 1128 laps
Average number of laps per driver: 51 laps
Most laps by a driver: 65 - Trulli (Toyota)
Fastest lap: 1min 31.420secs - Massa (FP2)
Compounds used: Medium / Soft

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Felipe Massa , Nico Rosberg , Heikki Kovalainen
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren , Williams