Bridgestone Motorsport’s Japanese Grand Prix report

JAPANESE GRAND PRIX F1/2008 -  FUJI 12/10/2008 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX F1/2008 -  FUJI 12/10/2008

Fernando Alonso (ING Renault F1 Team) has won the sixteenth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship after using a medium-medium-soft tyre strategy in a thrilling Japanese Grand Prix.
Alonso crossed the finish line 5.284 seconds ahead of BMW Sauber F1 Team driver Robert Kubica who used the same tyre strategy. Kimi Raikkonen (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) also used this strategy to finish third. Nelson Piquet (ING Renault F1 Team) drove from twelfth on the grid to fourth whilst Jarno Trulli (Panasonic Toyota Racing) finished fifth.
Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Vettel finished sixth and seventh, whilst Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) finished eighth and scored the final championship point.
Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) made a poor start from pole and lost the lead, before locking-up whilst braking into turn one. He was issued with a pitlane drive-through penalty for this incident. Hamilton passed championship rival Massa on the first lap, but contact between the two drivers resulted in Massa also being issued with a drive-through penalty. Hamilton finished twelfth.
Leaving Fuji, Hamilton leads the drivers’ championship with 84 points from Massa on 78. Kubica is third on 72. Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro now lead the constructors’ championship with 141 points, ahead of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes on 135. The BMW Sauber F1 Team are third with 128. Today’s fastest lap time, 1min 18.426secs, was set by Massa on lap 55 using the medium tyre.
Bridgestone’s Potenza Formula One tyres are in use next weekend in the Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix, when Bridgestone’s hard and medium compound Potenza tyres will be in action.
Shoshi Arakawa – Bridgestone Corporation, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, said:
“Congratulations to Fernando Alonso for his victory here at the Fuji Speedway in what was an eventful race for everyone. We are proud that our Make Cars Green tyres added to the excitement. Bridgestone, as the Official Tyre Supplier to the FIA Formula One World Championship, will continue to support all of the teams and drivers with our full efforts and we will promote the Make Cars Green campaign globally.”
Hirohide Hamashima – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development, said:
“Today we saw a very exciting race and congratulations to Fernando Alonso and Renault for surviving the first lap and pushing very hard with their strategy to take their consecutive win. We must also thank Robert Kubica and Kimi Raikkonen for giving us an enjoyable battle for second place. There was not a great amount of rubber on the track and the medium compound enabled most drivers to set their fastest lap time today. Both compounds worked largely as we expected at Fuji. We could clearly see the tyre  wear characteristics as a result of the Make Cars Green markings on the tyres and this was an interesting new aspect for fans. Regarding Adrian Sutil’s tyre, it appears that he sustained a puncture, possibly frombnr_ms debris on track, as the data showed pressure loss before the tyre came apart.”

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