Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) has won the sixth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship from third place on the grid after starting his race with Bridgestone's wet weather tyre, staying on this tyre after a unscheduled pitstop...
Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) has won the sixth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship from third place on the grid after starting his race with Bridgestone's wet weather tyre, staying on this tyre after a unscheduled pitstop following contact with the barriers, and finishing his race on Bridgestone's soft compound dry grooved tyre in the Monaco Grand Prix.
It was an exciting and epic battle on the streets of Monte Carlo, with competitors facing the challenge of variable weather conditions as well as their rival drivers. Rain showers visited the circuit on several occasions and there were two periods behind the safety car during the race, which was stopped after the two hour racing limit was reached, two laps short of the scheduled 78 lap race distance.
All of Bridgestone's tyres were used in this race, with the wet and extreme wet, soft and super soft all seeing action. This was the first time that Bridgestone's modified super soft compound dry tyre was used in a race, and the first time this season that the softer compound wet tyre was used.
Hamilton finished the race three seconds ahead of BMW Sauber F1 Team driver Robert Kubica whilst Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) finished a further 1.7 seconds down in third. Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing) finished in fourth place, Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso) finished fifth. In sixth position was Rubens Barrichello (Honda Racing F1 Team), seventh was Kazuki Nakajima (AT&T Williams) and Heikki Kovalainen (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) scored the final drivers' point with eighth position.
Given the difficult conditions, there were numerous incidents in the race. There were no reported tyre problems. The race's fastest lap was set by Kimi Raikkonen (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) on lap 74, using the super soft compound dry tyre.
Leaving Monaco, Hamilton now leads the drivers' championship with 38 points, ahead of Raikkonen on 35. Massa is in third place with 34 points. Ferrari continue to lead the constructors' championship with 69 points, whilst McLaren Mercedes move into second place with 53 points. BMW Sauber are in third place with 52 points.
Formula One will next be in action June 6-8 with the Grand Prix du Canada at Montreal, where Bridgestone's soft and super soft compound Potenza tyres will once more be used.
Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development:
"Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton for winning a difficult race. Hamilton had good patience in trying conditions and he showed strong pace on both a wet and dry track. We gained data from running with all our weather range of tyres today and each tyre worked well when used in the correct conditions and we are very happy with performance. Of course, drivers were not always on the correct tyre in the changing conditions and this made for an exciting race. Because of the weather conditions the track surface never rubbered up enough for the new super soft compound to really be put through its paces, but this should happen in Montreal."