Bridgestone Chinese GP race report
Bridgestone's wet tires were the tire of choice in trying conditions for the Chinese Grand Prix held at the Shanghai International Circuit where Sebastian Vettel took Red Bull Racing's first and his second Formula One victory.
Vettel crossed the line 10.9 secs ahead of team-mate Mark Webber, who scored his best finish with second, meaning two Renault-powered cars on the podium. Drivers' championship leader Jenson Button (Brawn GP) finished third. All drivers started behind the safety car and therefore on the wet tires - as stipulated by the regulations - and persistent rain meant that almost all competitors stayed on wet tires for the duration of the race.
Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tire Development
How was the race from Bridgestone's perspective?
"Once more in 2009 we have seen an exciting race. Congratulations to Red Bull Racing for their first race win and Sebastian Vettel for his second win. I think our tire allocation was interesting for this weekend and qualifying was exciting, whilst the race was another demonstration of our wet tires working well in the correct conditions. Interestingly of the front-runners, we saw Rubens Barrichello opt to stay on his existing wet tires in his final pit stop, rather than change to new ones. Also, we saw Nico Rosberg use the intermediate, but the track surface was never quite dry enough for these tires."
Another race where the wet tires have been used, are you happy with their performance?
"The wet tires have worked well here. Obviously, the 2009 specification cars have less downforce than before. In the dry, there is more mechanical grip to compensate for the lack of aerodynamic grip, whereas in the wet there is not that compensation. Despite this, our wet tires worked very well in very difficult conditions. Of course, some parts of the track had very deep puddles, and we saw drivers struggle with aquaplaning, but overall we can be satisfied. Today I think we watched many demonstrations of excellent driving throughout the field."
Below is the order in which each driver used his tire compounds in the Chinese Grand Prix, as recorded by Bridgestone:
Team Tire Choice by Stint
Felipe Massa Wet DNF
Kimi Raikkonen Wet Wet
Lewis Hamilton Wet Wet
Heikki Kovalainen Wet Wet
Robert Kubica Wet Wet Wet
Nick Heidfeld Wet Wet
Fernando Alonso Wet Wet Wet
Nelson Piquet Wet Wet Wet Wet
Jarno Trulli Wet DNF
Timo Glock Wet Wet
Scuderia Toro Rosso
Sebastien Bourdais Wet Wet
Sebastien Buemi Wet Wet Wet
Red Bull Racing
Mark Webber Wet Wet Wet
Sebastian Vettel Wet Wet Wet
Nico Rosberg Wet Wet Inters Wet
Kazuki Nakajima Wet Wet Wet DNF
Adrian Sutil Wet Wet Wet DNF
Giancarlo Fisichella Wet Wet
Jenson Button Wet Wet Wet
Rubens Barrichello Wet Wet Wet