Scuderia Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen has won the British Grand Prix after a thrilling 59 lap race where pit stop strategy, tyre choice and stint length proved key under blue skies at Silverstone. Raikkonen and McLaren Mercedes team-mates Lewis ...
Scuderia Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen has won the British Grand Prix after a thrilling 59 lap race where pit stop strategy, tyre choice and stint length proved key under blue skies at Silverstone.
Raikkonen and McLaren Mercedes team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso all took their turns to lead the race, with all three drivers on the podium using a different tyre strategy to achieve their results. Raikkonen also set the race's fastest lap, a 1min 20.638secs, whilst using the medium compound on lap 17. This time was almost a second faster than last year's fastest of 1min 21.599secs.
Both Ferraris started on the medium compound Potenza, but Felipe Massa stalled on the grid, causing a second formation lap and putting him in the pit lane for the start. The Brazilian drove a masterful race using a medium- medium-hard strategy to power through the field with only a superb defence by Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber) preventing Massa from taking fourth.
Hamilton, who started on the hard Bridgestone Potenza, led away from his first home pole, but was under pressure from Raikkonen, on the medium, at the end of his first stint. Hamilton pitted first, staying on the hard tyre, leaving Raikkonen to take the lead, pitting two laps later. Alonso pitted later still, and emerged from his stop ahead of both after changing the hard for the medium compound tyre.
Alonso led until the second stop, where Raikkonen was able to stay out for an extra six laps, emerging from the pits on the hard compound, with a lead he kept to the chequered flag. Alonso crossed the line on the hard compound 2.4 secs behind Raikkonen, with Hamilton finishing a further 36.9 secs down, after driving his final stint on the medium compound.
The Honda Racing duo of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello employed a very different tyre strategy, both starting on the medium compound, making only one pit stop to change to the hard compound. From their grid positions the strategy worked well, with Button making eight places and Barrichello making five through the race.
Bridgestone and all of the Formula One teams now head to Spa in Belgium for a three day test, 10-12 July, where the medium and soft compound Bridgestone Potenzas will be used.
Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport Head of Track Engineering Operations:
"From my point of view the excitement today was the tyre performance of both compounds of Bridgestone Potenza and the various strategies this allowed. We saw five variations of strategy today. The medium compound performed better than expected, showing less graining than predicted. The hard compound performed very consistently. Most of the fastest lap times of the quickest cars were recorded on the medium compound Bridgestone Potenza, but when you take fuel load into account, our calculations show that the hard compound had the edge."
"Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari were able to minimise the graining on the medium compound in their first stint, and this ambitious strategy paid off, giving them victory. The next challenge for Bridgestone is the test in Spa. There is new tarmac down, as well as a new layout. We haven't been there since 2005 so I am very much looking forward to this test."