European GP: Bridgestone Friday practice report

Bridgestone's super soft tyre proved to be the fastest rubber on the streets of Valencia, with ING Renault F1 Team driver Fernando Alonso setting a 1min 39.404secs in a searing hot afternoon session. Alonso was over seven tenths faster than...

Bridgestone's super soft tyre proved to be the fastest rubber on the streets of Valencia, with ING Renault F1 Team driver Fernando Alonso setting a 1min 39.404secs in a searing hot afternoon session.

Alonso was over seven tenths faster than second fastest driver, Jenson Button, whose Brawn GP Formula 1 team-mate Rubens Barrichello was third quickest.

The morning practice session saw Barrichello go fastest, using the soft tyre to set a time of 1min 42.460secs. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton were the next quickest.

Ambient and track temperatures were hot all day, with blue skies and sunshine at the Spanish port location. The track reached a maximum of 46 degrees Celsius today, one of the highest temperatures this season.

Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development

What was significant about today's running?

"Today was all about track improvement. The surface started very dirty, as we would expect so we heard the usual comments about lack of grip. We saw quite a bit of rear lateral graining which comes from the traction and braking demands on this circuit. We also saw some front lateral graining on some cars too. This is unusual, but comes from the heavy braking on the initially dirty surface."

How do you expect this allocation to work over the weekend?

"We would expect the super soft to be the superior tyre for lap time, but the soft to be the superior tyre for consistency and therefore the favoured race tyre. The amount of circuit improvement over the weekend will be the key to the race. As the circuit improves, so car balance will change. The team that predicts the track improvement correctly for the race will be best placed to refine their car setup to suit. Even though it was very hot here, the track layout does not put as much force through the tyres as at other circuits so we do not predict problems with tyres overheating."

-credit: bridgestone

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Rubens Barrichello , Fernando Alonso , Lewis Hamilton , Heikki Kovalainen
Teams Mercedes , McLaren , Renault F1 Team , Brawn GP