Bridgestone Motorsport's British Grand Prix report
Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) has won the ninth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship from fourth on the grid after using Bridgestone's wet weather Potenza tyres in the difficult and variable conditions of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Hamilton won his home event by over a minute from BMW Sauber F1 Team driver Nick Heidfeld, who also used only Bridgestone's wet weather tyres during the race. Rubens Barrichello made his 62nd appearance on the podium by finishing in third position, making use of the extreme wet tyres as well as the wets during the race.
Finishing in fourth place was Kimi Raikkonen (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) whilst pole-sitter Heikki Kovalainen (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) finished fifth and Fernando Alonso (ING Renault F1 Team) finished in sixth. Jarno Trulli (Panasonic Toyota Racing) finished in seventh, overtaking eighth finishing Kazuki Nakajima (AT&T Williams) on the final lap.
Only the top three drivers finished on the lead lap after a very eventful race. Rain was a frequent factor meaning that track conditions changed lap by lap. Most of the drivers were caught out at least once during the course of the race and spins were numerous. Neither compound of Bridgestone's dry grooved tyres was used today.
Many different tyre strategies were employed during the race, and the fastest lap, a 1min 32.150 secs, was set by Raikkonen on lap 18. Leaving Silverstone, Hamilton leads the drivers' championship, although Raikkonen and Massa are both tied with him on 48 points. Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro lead the constructors' championship with 96 points, ahead of the BMW Sauber F1 Team on 82. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes are in third place on 72.
Formula One teams will be testing next week at Hockenheim on July 8-10, using the hard and medium compound Potenza tyres. The next Grand Prix is the Santander German Grand Prix, at Hockenheim, on July 18-20 where Bridgestone's hard and medium compound Potenza tyres will be also be used.
Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development, said: "I am very happy with the good performance we saw from both of our wet tyres today, and the data and feedback we have gained will help us develop our next generation of wet weather tyres for Formula One, and ultimately for our road tyres too. The variable weather conditions were very valuable to us for this data collection, and also helped to provide a very enjoyable race for spectators. Congratulations to Lewis for winning his home grand prix. This win came from correct tyre choice and car set-up, as well as patience in the cockpit. This was a very eventful race and there were many good performances from drivers. We now have three drivers on the same points as we enter the second half of the year. The racing season starts now!"