Bridgestone's medium and soft compound Potenza tyres took to the punishing Indy banking today under searing temperatures on the first day of running for the US Grand Prix with McLaren Mercedes driver Fernando Alonso leading the way in both 90...
Bridgestone's medium and soft compound Potenza tyres took to the punishing Indy banking today under searing temperatures on the first day of running for the US Grand Prix with McLaren Mercedes driver Fernando Alonso leading the way in both 90 minute practice sessions at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The temperatures at Indy were amongst the highest experienced so far this season but despite the tough conditions for the seventh round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Bridgestone Potenzas performed admirably. Alonso's time on the first day of running was only 1.1 seconds off last year's pole time. The medium and soft tyre combination has only been previously used at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Alonso set his times on Bridgestone's soft compound Potenza whilst BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld and Alonso's team-mate Lewis Hamilton were second and third fastest in the morning session. In the afternoon session, held in even hotter conditions, Hamilton and Ferrari's Felipe Massa were the second and third fastest. Sebastien Vettel, standing in for Robert Kubica at BMW Sauber, impressed through the day with the fourth fastest time in the morning, and he completed the greatest amount of laps of any driver.
Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport Head of Track Engineering Operations:
"It was a very good session today with no tyre issues to report. The circuit was not at its best which is normal due to this being the first day of running, but despite this both compounds of Potenzas performed well. If we are critical we could say that more grip would be advantageous, but in terms of graining and consistency I am very satisfied."
"More grip should come as the circuit improves but competitive lap times were already set despite the circuit's condition. The soft Potenza was faster, as expected, with a minimum four tenths advantage over the medium Potenza. The temperature levels are not an issue to me as it is the high speeds and the banking here which are the crucial aspects. Although we have had a good day today, we should never be complacent at this circuit."
Stats of the Day
Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 1366
Average number of laps per car: 62 laps
Most laps by a driver: 83 - Sebastian Vettel
Fastest lap: 1min 11.925secs - Fernando Alonso
Compounds: Medium and soft