Felipe Massa (Ferrari) has won the third round of the FIA Formula One World Championship after using a soft-soft-medium compound Bridgestone Potenza tyre strategy in the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir. Massa was joined on the podium by ...
Felipe Massa (Ferrari) has won the third round of the FIA Formula One World Championship after using a soft-soft-medium compound Bridgestone Potenza tyre strategy in the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir.
Massa was joined on the podium by team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who finished 3.3 seconds behind, using the same tyre strategy, on a dominant day from the reigning constructors' champions. Pole- sitter Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber) finished third, ahead of team-mate Nick Heidfeld, illustrating a strong and consistent performance from the team who now move into the lead of the constructors' championship. Fifth place went to Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren Mercedes) who also set the race's fastest lap, a 1min 33.193secs on lap 49, using the medium compound.
Sixth spot went to Jarno Trulli (Toyota), Mark Webber (Red Bull) finished seventh, whilst Nico Rosberg took the final championship point for Williams with eighth.
There were a variety of tyre strategies used in Bahrain. Most drivers who finished the race made two stops for fuel and tyres, but the order they used the two compounds differed according to individual competitor performance and preference. Kazuki Nakajima (Williams) used a one stop strategy, illustrating the durability of both compounds of tyre at this challenging and harsh circuit.
Leaving Bahrain, Raikkonen leads the drivers' championship with 19 points, ahead of Heidfeld on 16. Previous points leader Hamilton slips to third spot with 14 points after finishing in 13th position and out of the points. Both Kubica and Kovalainen are now equal on points with Hamilton in the drivers' championship in fourth and fifth position. BMW Sauber now lead the constructors' championship with 30 points, ahead of Ferrari on 29 and McLaren Mercedes on 28.
Formula One will next be in action with the Gran Premio de Espana Telefonica at the Circuit de Catalunya on April 25-27 where Bridgestone's hard and medium compound Potenza tyres will be used.
Tetsuro Kobayashi - Technical Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport, said:
"This was a very satisfying race for Bridgestone as both the medium and soft compounds performed very well here. This confirms that we were correct to change the compound allocation from last year when we brought the hard and medium. Heat durability, wear and consistency were good for both tyres today so strategy depended on competitor preference. There were a number of accidents in the race and we did see tyre damage from debris on the track, but we have no concerns from the tyre performance perspective. Just like Saturday it was windy once more, but stability for drivers was good. Interestingly the fastest lap was set on the medium compound, late in the race when the track was at its cleanest and with the most rubber down. This was a strong race for us and we now look to the challenge of the Spanish Grand Prix in three weeks time. "
In 2008, the tyre regulations stipulate that the two dry tyre specifications must be visibly distinguishable from each other. At the Bahrain Grand Prix, the soft compound Bridgestone Potenza tyre was marked with a white line in the second from inside groove.