Japanese GP: Bridgestone Friday practice report

Bridgestone's intermediate tyre was the fastest rubber on Formula One's return to the challenging and technical Suzuka Circuit as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Heikki Kovalainen set the fastest lap on the first day of the Japanese Grand ...

Bridgestone's intermediate tyre was the fastest rubber on Formula One's return to the challenging and technical Suzuka Circuit as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Heikki Kovalainen set the fastest lap on the first day of the Japanese Grand Prix.

The morning practice, when Kovalainen set his time, took place on a wet but drying circuit. In the afternoon, continuous rain meant that only the final 30 minutes saw timed laps and only Bridgestone's wet tyre was used. Adrian Sutil (Force India F1 Team) was the fastest driver. Not all drivers completed timed laps.

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

What was significant about today's running?

"Today we have learnt that our latest specification intermediate tyre works very well here. This tyre stood up well for around 20 laps when used on a drying track. The rain through most of the second session meant no running took place for the first hour. This makes the weekend very interesting as the teams have no data from the dry tyres today."

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

"Any data learnt from this morning using the wet and intermediate tyres will be lost in translation for using the dry tyres if the weather is better tomorrow. If it is wet then we will have a very interesting day as the grid could be determined by a wet qualifying session. If it is dry it will also be very interesting as the teams will have to learn the hard and soft tyre performance with only limited track time. This gives the teams a big challenge, not just for qualifying but also for Sunday's race."

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Heikki Kovalainen , Adrian Sutil
Teams Mercedes , McLaren , Force India