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Hard and soft Potenzas in action at Spa
(GMM) Felipe Massa set the marker on the opening day of running for the Belgian Grand Prix by using Bridgestone’s medium compound Potenza tyre to set Friday’s fastest lap time at the 7km Spa Francorchamps circuit.

The Ferrari set his time – a 1:47.284s – in the morning 90 minute practice session. He was over three-tenths faster than teammate Kimi Raikkonen. Lewis Hamilton was third fastest.

The morning session was dry, apart from a few spots of rain, whilst the afternoon session saw more rain, although insufficient for teams to make use of Bridgestone’s wet or extreme wet tyres.

The more trying conditions in the afternoon meant that fewer laps were completed and the lap times were slower. Fernando Alonso set the fastest time for Renault, a 1:48.454s, using the hard compound in the final minutes of a session. Massa was second fastest in this session, whilst Heikki Kovalainen was third quickest.

This was the first time that teams have used the hard compound Bridgestone Potenza F1 tyre here as the medium and soft compounds were used at Spa last season. 

Hirohide Hamashima, Tyre Development Director
“Today was difficult for teams trying to accumulate data as the weather was variable and track conditions were not good for gaining information. The morning session was dry, and the best lap time was faster than that set here in last year’s first session."

"In the afternoon we saw some rain on the circuit and times did not improve. Despite the cool conditions we are happy with the warm-up of both compounds, including the hard compound which we are using here for the first time. Tomorrow it will be interesting to see what the weather does, but teams should be used to the challenge of Spa as the weather is often like this here.”

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