Bridgestone Motorsport's GP2 Series Report Vitaly Petrov (Barwa Addax Team) and Lucas di Grassi (Fat Burner Racing Engineering) both took their first race wins of the season on Bridgestone's medium compound tyre, at Istanbul, in the...
Bridgestone Motorsport's GP2 Series Report
Vitaly Petrov (Barwa Addax Team) and Lucas di Grassi (Fat Burner Racing Engineering) both took their first race wins of the season on Bridgestone's medium compound tyre, at Istanbul, in the third round of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series.
Drivers were challenged this weekend by the hot temperatures and by running on Bridgestone's medium specification slick, rather than the 2008 hard compound that was supplied for all teams here last year.
High temperatures meant the rear tyre degradation this weekend was a key factor affecting performance, as less grip from the rear tyres helped to relieve the workload of the front tyres with less push from the rear.
In Saturday's entertaining 34 lap feature race, Nico Hulkenberg (ART Grand Prix) started from his maiden GP2 pole position and Russian driver Petrov claimed victory from fourth on the grid, also taking the point for fastest lap. Luca Filippi (Super Nova Racing) finished second, Durango's Davide Valsecchi in third. Rear tyre degradation was higher here than at most other circuits on the GP2 calendar, meaning that pit stop strategy, especially with the added factor of the safety car, was crucial for a good result.
Sunday's 23 lap sprint race was led and won by the fastest driver of the day, di Grassi, giving the Brazilian valuable championship points. Javier Villa (Super Nova Racing) and Petrov completed the podium. Petrov now leads the drivers' championship on 33 points from team-mate Romain Grosjean on 31. Jerome d'Ambrosio (DAMS) is third with 18 points. Barwa Addax Team leads the teams' championship with 64 points from ART Grand Prix on 34. DAMS is in third position with 21. The fourth round of the GP2 Series will be held at Silverstone on June 19-21, also on Bridgestone's medium compound GP2 racing slick.
Quote from Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development
"GP2's feature race this weekend was very interesting with numerous battles taking place on track and the teams implementing a variety of pit stop strategies. The medium compound Bridgestone tyre has responded well to the conditions and showed good wear rate. As we expected this weekend, the rear tyre degradation in both races has been slightly higher than in previous years due to the allocation of a softer specification. Congratulations to Vitaly Petrov and Lucas di Grassi for two great race wins."
Quote from Franco Annunziato - Senior Vice President Technology, Bridgestone Europe
"It is very pleasing for us that the GP2 Series is completely satisfied with the job that Bridgestone is doing in GP2 and that the organisers have also complimented the tyres following Bridgestone's acceptance of a one step softer tyre strategy for 2009. All of the GP2 tyres are produced at the Bridgestone Technical Centre Europe, based in Rome, and have been since September 2007. Being involved with the GP2 project gives us a great opportunity to transfer knowledge from this to the production of Bridgestone road tyres."