Fernando Alonso (ING Renault F1 Team) set the marker on the opening day of running for the Brazilian Grand Prix by using Bridgestone's soft compound Potenza tyre to set Friday's fastest lap time at the 4.31km Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace for the ...
Fernando Alonso (ING Renault F1 Team) set the marker on the opening day of running for the Brazilian Grand Prix by using Bridgestone's soft compound Potenza tyre to set Friday's fastest lap time at the 4.31km Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace for the eighteenth and final round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship.
Alonso set his time - a 1min 12.296secs - in the afternoon 90 minute practice session. He was less than a tenth faster than the next driver, Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro). Jarno Trulli (Panasonic Toyota Racing) went third fastest.
In the morning session Massa used the medium compound to set the fastest time, a 1min 12.305secs. He was almost two tenths faster than Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes). Massa's team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen, was third fastest in this session.
The first day of running at Interlagos held no surprises and the track delivered no tricks or treats. Cloudy and cool conditions featured all day, and there was even some light rain during the afternoon session. Today was the first time that Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza tyre has been used here, as the soft and super soft tyres were allocated for this event last season.
Today's fastest lap time was almost half a second faster than the best Friday time set last year, a 1min 12.767secs, set by Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) in FP2.
Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, said:
"Today was very much a standard first day of practice. The cars are much quicker compared with last year's Friday running, however we have seen a lot of graining, especially with the soft tyre, but also with the medium tyre too. This graining has an effect on the degradation of the tyres, but tomorrow we hope that the circuit surface is improved which will mean better consistency. The amount of graining we have seen shows us that changing the tyre allocation a step harder was correct though. If we had brought the soft and super soft tyres, as we used last season, the graining and degradation would have been far worse. Of course, the weather is often a challenge here in Brazil and today has been very cool, but we saw similar conditions last year on Friday, only for Sunday's race to be very hot."
Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 1309 laps
Average number of laps per driver: 65 laps
Most laps by a driver: 83 - Piquet
Fastest lap: 1min 12.296secs - (FP2)
Compounds used: Medium / Soft
Qualifying in 2007
Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) qualified on pole after setting a lap time of 1min 11.931secs on the super soft compound. Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) qualified second with a time of 1min 12.082secs whilst Kimi Raikkonen (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) qualified third.