Mixed views on the option tire Lewis Hamilton set the marker on the opening day of running for the German Grand Prix using Bridgestone’s medium compound Potenza tire - the softer option - to set the day’s fastest lap time at the 4.57 km Hockenheim circuit in Baden-Württenberg, for the tenth round of the championship.
Hamilton set his time – a 1:15.025s – in the afternoon 90 minute practice session, when the track was drier and the temperatures were warmer than those seen in the morning. Hamilton was almost seven-tenths faster than the next driver, Felipe Massa. Kimi Raikkonen went third fastest in this session.
In the morning drivers initially faced a wet circuit and both Bridgestone’s wet and extreme wet tires were used. The circuit dried and lap times fell rapidly, with Bridgestone’s dry grooved tires being used in the latter third of the 90 minute session.
This is the first race weekend where the current range of Bridgestone Potenza tires have been used at Hockenheim. Lap times were faster than those set on Friday’s running when Formula One last visited here two years ago, when there was tire competition.
Today’s fastest lap time was just under a second adrift of pole position in 2006.
Hirohide Hamashima, Tire Development Director “This morning track conditions were changing very quickly as the circuit dried, so we couldn’t collect much useful tire data. In the afternoon, however, the circuit was improving with every lap. Both the hard and medium compound worked well, so it is difficult to say which will be the better for tomorrow’s qualifying and Sunday’s race. Some cars and drivers had an advantage with the medium tire today, but others had an advantage with the hard. We will now analyze the wear rate and discuss the data with the teams to get a fuller picture for this weekend.”
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