Bridgestones wet tyres were the tyre of choice in trying conditions for the Chinese Grand Prix held at the Shanghai International Circuit where Sebastian Vettel took Red Bull Racings 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 tyres as stipulated by the regulations and persistent rain meant that almost all competitors stayed on wet tyres for the duration of the race.
Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima – Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development
How was the race from Bridgestones 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 tyre allocation was interesting for this weekend and qualifying was exciting, whilst the race was another demonstration of our wet tyres working well in the correct conditions. Interestingly of the front-runners, we saw Rubens Barrichello opt to stay on his existing wet tyres 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 tyres.
Another race where the wet tyres have been used, are you happy with their performance?
The wet tyres 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 tyres 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.
Stats of the Day
Bridgestone Potenza Driver Tyre Strategies
Rd.3 China Grand Prix
In 2009, the tyre regulations stipulate that the two dry tyre specifications must be visibly distinguishable from each other. At the China Grand Prix, the super soft compound Bridgestone Potenza tyres were marked with green bands on the sidewalls. The wet weather tyre was also marked with a green line in a groove.