Coping with the Malaysian heat

Lewis Hamilton practiced Friday for the Malaysian Grand Prix by using Bridgestone’s medium compound Potenza tire and set the day’s fastest lap time at a hot and humid 5.54 km Sepang circuit for the second round of the championship.

Lewis Hamilton set a time of 1:35.055s making him the fastest man by over a tenth of a second from Felipe Massa (Ferrari). The day’s fastest time came in the second of the two 90 minute practice sessions held today.

The morning practice session saw Massa go quickest, using the hard compound to set a time of 1:35.396s, over a second faster than his Ferrari team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen, who was second fastest.

Both Bridgestone’s hard and medium compounds were put through their paces on the track located 50km south of Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur.

The new track surface meant the teams were challenged for setup, whilst drivers had to control their cars without traction control or controlled engine braking, meaning many off track moments during today’s running.

Hirohide Hamashima, Director of Tire Development
“We have seen hot weather here in Malaysia but both our hard and medium compound Potenza tires have performed well. The new track surface is different from the one we had before, and we have seen a number of drivers sliding as they discover the new grip levels."

"Our tires reacted better than predicted with the new track surface. Both compounds worked well with some drivers setting their fastest times today on the medium and some setting their fastest time on the hard which will make things interesting for the weekend. We will now check the wear rates of the compounds and give this data to the teams for them to decide their strategies for tomorrow and Sunday."

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