Bridgestone Motorsport's GP2 Series Report Sam Bird (ART Grand Prix) and Christian Vietoris (Racing Engineering) were both winners in Monza on Bridgestone's hard specification dry tyre. Pastor Maldonado (Rapax) is now officially...
Bridgestone Motorsport's GP2 Series Report
Sam Bird (ART Grand Prix) and Christian Vietoris (Racing Engineering) were both winners in Monza on Bridgestone's hard specification dry tyre. Pastor Maldonado (Rapax) is now officially the 2010 GP2 Series Champion, clinching the drivers' title on the Sunday at the penultimate round of the season.
Heat durability was the main factor affecting tyre performance during the weekend, with the hard compound GP2 tyre withstanding high temperatures and delivering consistent lap times for the majority of drivers.
Saturday's 30 lap feature race was incident filled during the first seven laps which caused over a third of the field to retire. Pole sitter Jules Bianchi (ART Grand Prix) was overtaken by teammate Bird at the first corner, which allowed the Brit to dominate and take his first GP2 victory along with the fastest lap. Bianchi finished second, with Oliver Turvey (iSport International) in third.
In Sunday's 21 lap sprint race, German driver Vietoris made an incredible start moving up instantly from fifth on the grid to first. Vietoris finished one second ahead of Jerome d'Ambrosio (DAMS), while Bird worked his way up from eighth to claim the last step of the podium and another point for setting the fastest lap. Maldonado failed to finish for the second time during the weekend, but with his closest rival Sergio Perez (Barwa Addax Team) not achieving any points either, Maldonado became champion.
Maldonado has 87 points at the top of the drivers' championship standings. Perez remains in second on 60 with Bianchi rising to third place on 52 points. The teams' championship is still to be decided, with Rapax on 107 points, Barwa Addax Team on 99 and ART Grand Prix totalling 94 points.
The final round of the 2010 GP2 Series will be held at the Yas Marina Circuit, in Abu Dhabi, on 12-14 November. Bridgestone's medium compound GP2 Potenza tyre will be in use at this venue, as Bridgestone say farewell to the GP2 Series after six years as the sole tyre supplier.
Quote from Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development
"This weekend's feature race started with accidents in the chicanes and we witnessed some aggressive driving in the opening laps. There are high kerbs on the inside of the first chicane and it is very narrow there, not allowing for any driver error. Sam Bird's consistent lap times showed he was pushing hard and that the tyres performed consistently. We understand he was pleased with the tyres and we are happy with their performance. Although some drivers had tyre blistering due to the heat, none of the drivers felt this affected their lap times. During the sprint race there were no issues with the tyres and Vietoris gave a strong performance to maintain his lead. Many congratulations to Pastor Maldonado, the new GP2 Champion."