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Italian GP - Bridgestone Friday press release
Fernando Alonso (McLaren Mercedes) used Bridgestone's soft compound Potenza tire to set the fastest time in Friday's running at the Monza race circuit for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

Alonso put in a 1min 22.386secs lap in the first half of the afternoon 90 minute practice session. He was almost a second faster than any other driver for most of the session, which was interrupted for eleven minutes with a red flag period for the stranded Super Aguri of Anthony Davidson.

Lewis Hamilton was the second fastest in the afternoon with a time of 1min 23.209secs with Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault) and Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber) the third and fourth quickest. Kubica completed a mammoth 44 laps during the second session, and illustrating the close running, under a second separated the third fastest from the 15th fastest.

Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) went fastest in the morning practice session, with a 1min 22.446secs set on the medium compound Potenza. Next up was Felipe Massa (Ferrari) with a 1min 22.590secs. Lewis Hamilton third fastest and Alonso fourth.

Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport Head of Track Engineering Operations:
"Today we saw a similar trend to that seen in last week's test so there were no major surprises in terms of who was quick. Tire performance, consistency and grip were also similar to last week. Blistering of the softer compound tire was experienced on some cars, which leaves room for improvement."

"The fastest lap times were quicker than at this point in the weekend last year, and the times through the field, particularly in the second session, were very close. Track conditions today were not as good as the best conditions from the test, but they should improve tomorrow and become more favorable for our compound selection."

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