Bridgestone Motorsport's Belgian Grand Prix report Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) has won the thirteenth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship from pole position after using a medium - medium - hard tyre strategy in ...
Bridgestone Motorsport's Belgian Grand Prix report
Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) has won the thirteenth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship from pole position after using a medium - medium - hard tyre strategy in an exciting Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps.
Hamilton took the win in epic fashion after losing his lead to Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver Kimi Raikkonen on the second lap, but regaining it when rain fell on the circuit late in the race. Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) finished in second, 14.4 seconds behind Hamilton, whilst Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber F1 Team) vaulted from seventh position to take third by pitting for Bridgestone's wet tyres for a final two lap blast through the field in the difficult conditions.
Fernando Alonso (ING Renault F1 Team) finished in fourth position, and also pitted for wet tyres for his final lap. Sebastian Vettel (Scuderia Toro Rosso) finished fifth whilst Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber F1 Team) took sixth. Sebastien Bourdais (Scuderia Toro Rosso) finished in seventh and Timo Glock (Panasonic Toyota Racing) finished in eighth and took the final championship point.
The late rain in the race presented all competitors with a dilemma; whether to stay on the dry tyres on a wet track or opt for a tyre change. Six drivers opted for wet tyres and two for the extreme wet. The further ten of those in the final classifications remained on the dry tyres. Illustrating the difficult challenge of driving on the wet circuit on dry tyres, there were many spins, including race leader for the majority of the race, Raikkonen. The Finn, who set today's fastest lap - a 1min 47.930secs - on lap 24 using the medium compound, stopped out on track after his spin on lap 42.
Leaving Belgium, Hamilton extends his lead in the drivers' championship with 80 points from Massa on 72. Kubica moves into third place with 58. Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro remain in the lead of the constructors' championship with 129 points, ahead of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes on 123. The BMW Sauber F1 Team are in third place with 105.
Bridgestone's Potenza Formula One tyres will next be in action at the Italian circuit of Monza for the Italian Grand Prix on September 12-14 where Bridgestone's hard and medium compound tyres will once more be used.
Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development, said:
"This was a typical race at Spa, and by that I mean there was some excitement brought about by the weather. Our medium compound tyre worked well in the damp conditions, particularly for Kimi Raikkonen. The hard compound was more difficult in the damp conditions, but Lewis Hamilton controlled his very well, even when the rain came in the last three laps. Nick Heidfeld showed fantastic strategy at the end of the race with good judgement to move on to the Bridgestone wet tyre to get a podium position. Congratulations again to Toro Rosso for having both cars running strongly and finishing in the points."