Chinese GP: Bridgestone race notes

Pole to flag victory for Barrichello & Bridgestone at inaugural China GP! Bridgestone runner Rubens Barrichello has taken the auspicious honour of winning the first ever China Grand Prix. Starting from pole, the Brazilian led from start to...

Pole to flag victory for Barrichello & Bridgestone at inaugural China GP!

Bridgestone runner Rubens Barrichello has taken the auspicious honour of winning the first ever China Grand Prix. Starting from pole, the Brazilian led from start to finish clinching his second consecutive win of the season and sealing his second place in the Drivers' Championship.

Also finishing in the points for Bridgestone were Sauber Petronas drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Felipe Massa, who finished seventh and eighth respectively. Like the Ferrari drivers, the Sauber pair had been demonstrating a quick turn of speed all weekend.

Michael Schumacher, meanwhile, had an unusual start to his race from the pitlane after deciding to change an engine. Having spun on his qualifying lap on Saturday he made the decision to change his engine as he was starting from the rear of the grid anyway.

Despite the World Champion's flair for battling through the field, events consistently conspired against him with first a spin early in the race and then a puncture. He was, nevertheless, the fastest man on the track setting a stunning lap time of 1m32.238s on lap 55.

Jordan Ford and Minardi Cosworth's Nick Heidfeld, Timo Glock and Zsolt Baumgartner crossed the finishing line in 13th, 15th and 16th places while Gianmaria Bruni retired after the loss of a wheel.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager Bridgestone Motorsport:

"A great second consecutive win for Rubens - he drove superbly. And the Sauber drivers also took points, which was very satisfying. We are generally very pleased with our tyre performance here in China and Michael and Rubens were extremely quick today. Michael in fact took the fastest lap and was unfortunate that he had to start from the pits and then had a spin and a puncture. It just was not his day."

"However, a Bridgestone runner has now won at both of the two new circuits on the F1 calendar demonstrating the importance of our pre race research and simulations with our teams. Of course we now have a great deal more data to work with and we will be back next year in an even stronger position."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"It's been a sensational experience here in China and we had a great race. Rubens had a fantastic race. He got a great start and was quick when he needed to be. He deserved the win as he's been strong all weekend."

"Michael unfortunately didn't have a very good race after starting from pitlane which was followed by a spin and then a puncture. You never really give up with Michael but once he had spun and come in for another set of tyres, that was it. But the Bridgestones were good today considering we had no previous data from this track and I'm looking forward to Suzuka."

Willy Rampf, Technical Director Sauber Petronas:

"We had very good first lap performance in qualifying. During today's race we've consolidated our sixth position in the constructors' championship. Our different approach and strategy has paid off."

"We do have to improve when choosing our tyres and our car set-up. We struggled a bit with graining but this can be improved and it was reassuring to be competing with the top teams. The Bridgestone tyre has been a big step forward in terms of first lap performance."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Nick Heidfeld , Gianmaria Bruni , Ross Brawn , Felipe Massa , Timo Glock
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Minardi , Jordan