Romain Grosjean (Barwa Campos Team) and Edoardo Mortara (Telmex Arden International) both took race wins on Bridgestone's medium compound tyre in the opening round of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series at the Circuit de Catalunya...
Romain Grosjean (Barwa Campos Team) and Edoardo Mortara (Telmex Arden International) both took race wins on Bridgestone's medium compound tyre in the opening round of the Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona, Spain.
Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza GP2 racing slick made its first ever appearance at the Barcelona circuit, as previously the hard compound has been used at this event. Due to the change in compound allocation, competitors had a greater tyre management challenge than in previous seasons. The emphasis in 2009 is on the drivers learning and understanding the capabilities of the softer GP2 tyres and adapting to maximise the performance of the Bridgestone compounds.
In Saturday's 39 lap feature race Grosjean dominated, taking full points for the race win, pole position and fastest lap. Barwa Campos teammate Vitaly Petrov finished in second, with Jerome d'Ambrosio (DAMS) completing the podium line-up. The majority of drivers changed only their rear tyres, a typical strategy for Barcelona to reduce the effects of degradation.
Mortara, Grosjean and d'Ambrosio finished top in Sunday's 26 lap sprint race, all teams having started on the mandatory new set of tyres for race two. Mortara also claimed a point for fastest lap. Leaving Barcelona, Grosjean leads the drivers' championship on 18 points from Mortara and d'Ambrosio both on 10. Barwa Campos Team leads the teams' championship with 26 points from DAMS on 13. Telmex Arden International is in third position with 10 points. The next round of the 2009 GP2 Series season will be held on the streets of Monte Carlo where Bridgestone's super soft compound will be used.
Quote from Hiroshi Yasukawa - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport
"Congratulations to Romain Grosjean and Edoardo Mortara for their race wins. Bridgestone is proud to support the GP2 Series in its fifth season, and it is great to see 26 drivers battling on circuit, showing their talent for potential futures in Formula One. Spain is a very important market for Bridgestone so having three Spanish drivers and two Spanish teams in this fantastic championship is great for us."
Quote from Hirohide Hamashima - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development
"The degradation of the Bridgestone GP2 medium compound tyre was on target with the organisers' requirements this weekend. The GP2 Series organisers wish to educate the drivers and teams in terms of their tyre management and strategy. This weekend the drivers needed to manage their tyres well as the allocation was one step softer than last year. Grosjean was strong in race one and his car setup assisted his tyre usage. Congratulations to Mortara in race two for his first GP2 victory. Degradation was much less than yesterday, due to track improvement, and this could be a good indicator for today's Formula One race also. "