Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) has used Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza F1 tyre to set the fastest lap time on the first day of running for the Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai International Circuit. Raikkonen completed his fastest lap, a...
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) has used Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza F1 tyre to set the fastest lap time on the first day of running for the Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai International Circuit.
Raikkonen completed his fastest lap, a 1min 36.607secs, in the final minutes in the afternoon's 90 minute practice session. He was just six thousandths faster than his nearest competitor, Fernando Alonso (McLaren Mercedes), who set his fastest lap half way through the session, also using the medium compound.
The morning practice session also saw Raikkonen fastest, with a 1min 37.024secs, this time using Bridgestone's hard compound. Second fastest in this session was Alonso once more, using the hard compound to set a time eight hundredths slower than Raikkonen.
Shanghai provided a challenge for all of the teams with the nature of the circuit, with two long straights and a technical section, meaning it is difficult to find the correct compromise in set-up. Today was the first day of running, so it was particularly harsh on the tyres with the left hand front tyres suffering in particular.
Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development:
"To start with the circuit was very dirty today and drivers complained of a lack of grip. However, the circuit soon improved and the drivers were able to feel this improvement, although they still wanted more grip and many struggled to find a good set-up. The difference between the hard and medium compound Potenza was on average around 0.2 seconds, but that depends on the car and driver."
"The wear rate on the left hand front tyre was a little higher than we predicted but it will be no problem for either compound to complete a race distance. Both grip levels and tyre wear rates should improve after we've seen more running on the track, and we should see an improvement tomorrow."
Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 1215 laps
Average number of laps per car: 55 laps
Most laps by a driver: 66 - Jarno Trulli
Fastest lap: 1min 36.607secs - Raikkonen (FP2)
Compounds used: Hard and medium