Bridgestone Motorsport's Friday Update Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes) set the marker on the opening day of running for the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix by using Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza tyre to set the day's fastest lap time at...
Bridgestone Motorsport's Friday Update
Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes) set the marker on the opening day of running for the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix by using Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza tyre to set the day's fastest lap time at a hot and humid 5.54 km Sepang circuit for the second round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship.
Hamilton set a time of 1min 35.055secs making him the fastest man by over a tenth of a second from Felipe Massa (Ferrari). The day's fastest time came in the second of the two 90 minute practice sessions held today.
The morning practice session saw Massa go quickest, using the hard compound to set a time of 1min 35.396sec, over a second faster than his Ferrari team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen, who was second fastest.
Both Bridgestone's hard and medium compounds were put through their paces on the track located 50km south of Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur. The new track surface meant the teams were challenged for set-up, whilst drivers had to control their cars without traction control or controlled engine braking, meaning many off track moments during today's running.
There was a red flag period in the morning after an off from David Coulthard (Red Bull) and Raikkonen stopped on track. The best lap time achieved today was just under a tenth slower than the fastest Friday lap last year, a 1min 34.972secs, set by Felipe Massa (Ferrari) in FP1.
Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development, said:
"We have seen hot weather here in Malaysia but both our hard and medium compound Potenza tyres have performed well. The new track surface is different from the one we had before, and we have seen a number of drivers sliding as they discover the new grip levels. Our tyres reacted better than predicted with the new track surface. Both compounds worked well with some drivers setting their fastest times today on the medium and some setting their fastest time on the hard which will make things interesting for the weekend. We will now check the wear rates of the compounds and give this data to the teams for them to decide their strategies for tomorrow and Sunday."
Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 1075 laps
Average number of laps per driver: 49 laps
Most laps by a driver: 70 - Piquet (Renault)
Fastest lap: 1min 35.055secs - Hamilton (FP2)
Compounds used: Hard / Medium
Qualifying in 2007
Felipe Massa (Ferrari) set pole position using the medium compound Bridgestone Potenza tyre last season with a time of 1min 35.043secs, just under three tenths quicker than the second fastest driver, Fernando Alonso (McLaren Mercedes). Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) and Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes) qualified on the second row.