Bridgestone shod Alex Wurz, WilliamsF1's third driver, topped both practice sessions today on day one of the Chinese Grand Prix weekend. Conditions were overcast with ambient temperatures in the mid to late twenties (Celsius). A light rain shower hit the track part way through the afternoon practice session but Bridgestone's five teams nevertheless had a busy day getting to grips with the 5.451km track and evaluating their two dry tyre specifications. The Shanghai International Circuit is notoriously harsh on the front left tyres but despite the high levels of graining seen on the first day of practice, Bridgestone's teams look to be well placed for a competitive weekend. Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa were fifth and fourth fastest respectively in the second session with several other Bridgestone shod drivers not far behind. Spyker MF1's third driver, Alex Premat, made his F1 race weekend debut today getting to know the Bridgestone grooved F1 tyres after an impressive season in the GP2 Series where he has been running on Bridgestone's GP2 slick tyres.
Hisao Suganuma, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager: The track was extremely green this morning and as expected, the soft tyres were graining a lot, giving the drivers understeer. The hard tyres were also graining but at an acceptable rate. Despite the light rain in the second session, the drivers of the third cars were able to conduct some productive tyre comparison tests and we saw some good competitive lap times today. The hard tyres were naturally more consistent but we shall see how the track develops tomorrow and what the weather forecast is before making our recommendations to the teams for the remainder of the weekend.
To check out our Shanghai practice gallery, click here