British 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 Santander British Grand Prix by using Bridgestone's hard compound Potenza tyre to set the day's fastest lap time...

Bridgestone Motorsport's Friday Update

Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) set the marker on the opening day of running for the Santander British Grand Prix by using Bridgestone's hard compound Potenza tyre to set the day's fastest lap time at the 5.14 km Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire for the ninth round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Massa set his time - a 1min 19.575 secs - in the morning 90 minute practice session, where temperatures were cooler than those seen in the afternoon. Massa was almost just over a hundredth faster than the next driver, Heikki Kovalainen (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes). Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) went third fastest in this session.

In the afternoon, times were generally slower and Kovalainen went fastest with a 1min 19.989 secs, set on the medium compound. Kovalainen was over half a second faster than the next quickest driver, Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing). Hamilton set the third fastest time.

Bridgestone's hard and medium compounds faced the tough challenge of this high speed abrasive circuit. Today's fastest lap time was quicker than last year's pole - a 1min 19.997secs, set by Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) using the medium compound. Weather forecasts of rain proved to be wide of the mark, and Bridgestone's wet and extreme wet tyres were not used today. Wind, however, proved to provide a challenge for competitors, particularly in the afternoon session.

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

"The wind at Silverstone made conditions difficult for teams and drivers to judge handling and set-up. From all of today's data it seems that the medium tyre is the quicker over a lap, offering more grip, however we did not see sufficient long runs on this tyre to judge how durable it will be over a race stint. In contrast to the general trend, today's fastest lap was set by Massa using the hard compound, when teams were trying a lot of different fuel loads, also the morning session was interrupted. Silverstone is a very abrasive circuit and tyre management of wear and degradation will be very important, so I expect to see teams running longer stints on the medium compound in tomorrow's morning practice session."

Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 956 laps
Average number of laps per driver: 48 laps
Most laps by a driver: 70 - Rosberg (AT&T Williams)
Fastest lap: 1min 19.575 secs - Massa (FP1)
Compounds used: Hard / Medium

Qualifying in 2007

Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) set pole position using the medium compound Bridgestone Potenza tyre last season with a time of 1min 19.997secs, a hundredth faster than Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver Kimi Raikkonen. Fernando Alonso (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) and Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) 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 , Red Bull Racing , Mercedes , McLaren , Williams