Hard and medium compound prove evenly matched

Felipe Massa will start the second round of the championship from pole position after using Bridgestone’s medium compound Potenza tire to go fastest in qualifying at Sepang for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Massa set a time of 1:35.748secs and was almost half a second faster than Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who will join him on the front row for Sunday’s 56-lap race. McLaren Mercedes team-mates Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton will start on the second row.

The Malaysian skies over Sepang threatened rain for most of the day, but nothing of any consequence fell during the course of running, meaning that only Bridgestone’s dry weather grooved tires have been used today.

Hirohide Hamashima – Director of Tire Development
“Congratulations to Felipe Massa for his first pole position of 2008. Today it seemed that the medium compound had more grip when cars were running lighter in Q1 and Q2, but in Q3, when cars were running heavier, the difference between the hard and medium was small and some cars were quicker on the hard compound."

"We had heavy rain last night and the track surface started the day in a similar condition to yesterday after FP1. We saw a dramatic improvement in lap times as rubber went down on this relatively new surface through practice and qualifying today. Tire appearance on both compounds was good and teams will have to spend a long time analyzing the data we give them to decide which tire strategy will be best if it is a dry race tomorrow. If we see a wet race, the strategies could be very interesting as we have not seen any wet running here without traction control this weekend." Source: Bridgestone

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