Belgian 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 ING Belgian Grand Prix by using Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza tyre to set Friday's fastest lap time at...

Bridgestone Motorsport's Friday Update

Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) set the marker on the opening day of running for the ING Belgian Grand Prix by using Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza tyre to set Friday's fastest lap time at the 7km Spa Francorchamps race track for the thirteenth round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Massa set his time - a 1min 47.284secs - in the morning 90 minute practice session. He was over three tenths faster than team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) went third fastest.

The morning session was dry, apart from a few spots of rain, whilst the afternoon session saw more rain, although insufficient for teams to make use of Bridgestone's wet or extreme wet tyres. The more trying conditions in the afternoon meant that fewer laps were completed and the lap times were slower. Fernando Alonso (ING Renault F1 Team) set the fastest time, a 1min 48.454secs, using the hard compound in the final minutes of a session which was stopped briefly whilst a car was removed from the track. Massa was second fastest in this session, whilst Heikki Kovalainen (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) was third quickest.

This was the first time that teams have used the hard compound Bridgestone Potenza F1 tyre here as the medium and soft compounds were used at Spa last season. Today's fastest lap time was over six tenths slower than the best Friday time set last year, a 1min 46.654secs, set by Fernando Alonso (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes).

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

"Today was difficult for teams trying to accumulate data as the weather was variable and track conditions were not good for gaining information. The morning session was dry, and the best lap time was faster than that set here in last year's first session. In the afternoon we saw some rain on the circuit and times did not improve. Despite the cool conditions we are happy with the warm-up of both compounds, including the hard compound which we are using here for the first time. Tomorrow it will be interesting to see what the weather does, but teams should be used to the challenge of Spa as the weather is often like this here."

Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 881 laps
Average number of laps per driver: 44 laps
Most laps by a driver: 52 - Vettel
Fastest lap: 1min 47.284secs - Massa(FP1)
Compounds used: Hard / Medium

-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 , McLaren , Renault F1 Team