Bridgestone Motorsport’s Saturday report Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) has achieved his third pole position of this season by using Bridgestone’s medium compound Potenza to go fastest in qualifying at Hockenheim for the German Grand Prix, round ten of the FIA Formula One World Championship.
Hamilton was quickest by almost two tenths of a second with a lap time of 1min 15.666secs. This time was set in a dry qualifying session, although there was a very brief shower immediately before it began. Second fastest today was Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro), whilst Heikki Kovalainen (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) and Jarno Trulli (Panasonic Toyota Racing) set the third and fourth fastest times.
Fernando Alonso (ING Renault F1 Team) went fifth quickest and Kimi Raikkonen (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) was sixth. Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber F1 Team) and Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing) went seventh and eighth fastest whilst Sebastian Vettel (Scuderia Toro Rosso) and David Coulthard (Red Bull Racing) were the final two drivers to qualify in the top ten.
In the morning practice session Kovalainen topped the times with a 1min 15.621secs lap, set on the medium compound. Kovalainen was seven hundredths faster than Massa, with Hamilton the third quickest. Weather conditions were also dry for this session. Today’s fastest lap time, a 1min 14.603secs, was set by Hamilton using the medium compound in Q2.
Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development, said: “We have an interesting line-up in the top ten from today’s qualifying and tomorrow’s race should be fascinating in terms of tire strategy from the data we have seen from the last two days and from last week’s test. Track conditions this afternoon were better than yesterday and this morning. The medium compound appears to be quicker by around 2-3 tenths of a second, even when the cars are running with heavy fuel loads. The difficulty in Hockenheim for the race is likely to be the weather as it has varied considerably since we have been here. In terms of tire strategy, we should see some variation tomorrow depending on how long competitors can maintain the speed advantage of the medium tire.”
Stats of the Day Total amount of laps completed by all drivers: 727 laps Average number of laps per driver: 36 laps Most laps by a driver: 46 – Vettel / Trulli Fastest lap: 1min 14.603 secs – Hamilton (Q2) Compounds used: Hard / Medium
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