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Bahrain Grand Prix: Friday Practice

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Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen was quickest in Friday’s second free practice session at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Finn set a time of 1m34.154s just over halfway through the session, using the P Zero White medium tyre. This has been nominated together with the P Zero Orange hard tyre in Bahrain.

During the first session – where the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso were first and second fastest respectively – the drivers used only the hard tyre. During the second session, all the teams sampled the medium tyre as well, in track temperatures that peaked at 42 degrees centigrade. At the end of the second session, the teams concentrated on longer runs with heavy fuel, in order to simulate the demanding conditions that they will encounter during Sunday’s race.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “As expected, track evolution played a prominent role in today’s action, with many of the competitors not running until later in each session in order to take advantage of more rubber being laid onto the track. The track is going to keep on evolving as the weekend goes on, so we are still not seeing the full picture yet. Wear and degradation is where we expect it to be at this point during the weekend, with the rear tyres worked particularly hard here, but when it comes to the race the cars will certainly be able to complete longer stints than we are seeing at the moment. Already some drivers are completing more than 15 laps on the hard tyre, so we are certainly on track to see a three-stop strategy for the race, although it’s possible that some teams will attempt a two-stopper. Once we’ve analysed the data from tonight and seen the times from tomorrow’s final free practice session, we should be able to have a clear idea of the optimal strategy.”

FP2 top times:

1.K Räikkönen  1.34.154

2.M Webber      1.34.184

3.S Vettel          1.34.282

May the Force be with you:
Max. g-force braking (longitudinal force):    -4.6 @ Turn 1
Max. g-force cornering (lateral force):             4.1 @ Turn 12

Pirelli fact of the day:
Chinese Grand Prix winner Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso is the most successful driver at Bahrain, with three wins. In further good news for the Scuderia, his team mate Felipe Massa is the second most successful driver at the circuit with two wins. The Bahrain Grand Prix has never been won from beyond the first two rows of the grid, but equally it has never been especially favorable to drivers in pole position. In total, the polesitter has only won the race four times out of the eight grands prix that have been held. Pirelli only raced in Bahrain for the first time last year, but the firm carried out extensive testing at the circuit in preparation for its return to Formula One. And for what was probably a first in Formula One history, one of those tests was interrupted by a sandstorm.

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