Bridgestone-shod Michael Schumacher claimed an emphatic Chinese Grand Prix victory this afternoon in front of a roaring crowd of fans to put him in the drivers' championship lead for the first time this season. Although Fernando Alonso took second...
Bridgestone-shod Michael Schumacher claimed an emphatic Chinese Grand Prix victory this afternoon in front of a roaring crowd of fans to put him in the drivers' championship lead for the first time this season. Although Fernando Alonso took second place and is equal on points, the Scuderia Ferrari driver has one win more than his rival, just giving im the edge.
Schumacher's win was the 103rd victory taken by a Bridgestone driver. Felipe Massa unfortunately retired from the race after 44 laps, and Ferrari has subsequently dropped back to lie one point behind Renault in the constructors' championship. Fellow Bridgestone runner, Mark Webber, took a well earned point for the WilliamsF1 team after running a strong and steady race to finish eighth. Crucially for Bridgestone today, after the disappointment of Saturday qualifying, the 56-lap race provided the ideal conditions for its wet and dry weather tyres. Drivers had to contend with a wet but slowly drying track after heavy morning rain and the timing of tyre changes proved the deciding factor for most teams today. The Formula One paddock now hastily packs up and heads over to Suzuka in Japan for next weekend's penultimate race of the season.
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:
"What a race! Congratulations to Michael on his 91st win and to Mark Webber on taking a point in very difficult conditions. Admittedly, we felt a little deflated yesterday after qualifying but today's result was a real boost. Our wet tyre was performing in ideal conditions this afternoon, unlike yesterday, and it was great to see. We had the right wet tyre for the conditions and the key was that it was then able to connect to the dry tyre's performance range as the track dried up. It was also good to see Sakon Yamamoto go the full race distance, which is always good for experience and confidence. It was just a shame Toyota and Spyker MF1 could not capitalize more on the Bridgestone tyres. It was a tough race in ever changing conditions but at least for some of our teams our tyres and hard work paid off. However, we will not have much time to reflect on this result as next week is our home race. Our teams have just two race weekends to claim as many points as possible and for Ferrari, who are in a possible to take the championship titles, it will be more like a two race shoot out so we need to make sure we provide the best tyres for the Bridgestone teams."
Bridgestone Team News
Ross Brawn, Technical Director Scuderia Ferrari:
"We knew there would be opportunities in the race, particularly when the rain stopped when it did. We expected the Bridgestones to be very good if the track dried and that's what happened. Michael did a great job in the fully wet conditions and as the track dried it all started to come towards us and we had to use every opportunity we got. That's what the tyre war is all about."