Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes) used Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza Formula One tyre to set a time of 1min 35.908secs for pole position at Shanghai International Circuit for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix. Hamilton beat Kimi...
Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes) used Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza Formula One tyre to set a time of 1min 35.908secs for pole position at Shanghai International Circuit for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.
Hamilton beat Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) to pole by over a tenth of a second and the second row for tomorrow's race will consist of Felipe Massa (Ferrari) in third position and Fernando Alonso (McLaren Mercedes) in fourth.
The fastest lap of the day was set in Q2 by Raikkonen, using the hard compound, the Finn posting a time of 1min 35.381secs, which is faster than the fastest session time from here last year. Most of the running in this session took place on the hard tyre.
Raikkonen was quickest in all sessions, both today and yesterday, except for the crucial Q3 session. In the morning hour-long practice session, he used the hard compound to set a time of 1min 36.100secs, just 26 thousands faster than second quickest Fernando Alonso (McLaren Mercedes).
Despite the length and difficult nature of this circuit, lap times were very close today during the sessions, with two seconds separating the top 19 cars in the morning practice.
Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development:
"It was an interesting qualifying session today because many teams were worried about the potential for rain tomorrow. We saw very close lap times, especially in the middle of the field. The medium compound appears to provide a faster lap time, of on average, 0.2 to 0.5secs. Front tyre graining was not so much of an issue today, but rear tyre degradation was a concern for some teams and drivers."
"The track has certainly improved from Friday, but we will not see much more improvement tomorrow. The two compounds work well and this means there is the scope for a variety of strategies, even from the cars at the front of the field, if it is a dry race. Now we will have to wait and see if we have another wet race like in Japan, as there are reports of a typhoon coming."
Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 648 laps
Average number of laps per driver: 29 laps
Most laps by a driver: 43 laps - Robert Kubica
Fastest lap: 1m 35.381s - Raikkonen in Q2
Compounds: Hard and medium