Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) has achieved the 120th Grand Prix race win on Bridgestone Potenza tyres after he employed a two-stop strategy to win the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit. Raikkonen used the same set of wets for...
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) has achieved the 120th Grand Prix race win on Bridgestone Potenza tyres after he employed a two-stop strategy to win the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit.
Raikkonen used the same set of wets for his first two stints, before changing to the medium dry tyre to take the chequered flag. He won by a margin of 9.8 seconds at the same venue where recently- crowned Bridgestone-shod MotoGP champion Casey Stoner took his third win of the season. He was joined on the podium by Fernando Alonso (McLaren Mercedes) who finished second by using a similar strategy, but finishing on the hard tyre. Felipe Massa (Ferrari) used the same strategy as his team-mate to finish third.
It was a mixed weather race with all of Bridgestone's range of Potenza Formula One tyres being used. The standard wet tyre was the favoured tyre to start the race, whilst drivers and teams made their own choice whether to opt for the medium or hard compound as the track dried, despite reoccurring showers.
Rookie Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso) took advantage of good timing in the drying conditions to make his only stop to change from the wet to medium dry tyre and this enabled his best finish of the year, fourth place. Jenson Button (Honda) finished fifth and Vitantonio Liuzzi (Toro Rosso) finished sixth, both their best results of the season. Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber) finished seventh and David Coulthard (Red Bull) finished eighth, taking the final point.
Drivers' championship leader Lewis Hamilton ended his race in a gravel trap after he slid off the track at the pit entrance, when pitting to change from wet tyres for the now predominantly dry track. His non-score here means that the title race is still very much alive heading to the season finale in Brazil, with a three-way title battle between Hamilton on 107 points, Alonso on 103 and Raikkonen on 100.
Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tyres will next be in race action in the final race of the year at the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos in Sao Paulo on October 19-21 where Bridgestone's soft and super soft compound Potenzas will be used.
Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development:
"Firstly, congratulations to Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari for their win. Kimi maintained his wet tyre very well until his second stop. We could see this as he was setting very good lap times at the end of his second stint, when the track was almost dry, and his wet tyres were almost worn out from these conditions."
"Secondly, congratulations to the Toro Rosso team, especially Sebastian Vettel, who made very good use of a one stop strategy to take fourth, which is a fantastic result. This was a difficult race. Tyre management and pit stop timing was very important in the changeable conditions. Maintaining the wet tyre on the drying track was crucial, and it was possible to see which cars had worn their wet tyres too much by looking at the television monitors."