Romain Grosjean (Barwa Addax Team) and Pastor Maldonado (ART Grand Prix) both took race wins on Bridgestones new super soft compound tyre, making its debut in the second round of the Bridgestonesupported GP2 Series on the streets of Monaco.
In Fridays 45 lap race, Barwa Addax Team took their second feature race one-two finish of the season with Grosjean winning from pole position and Vitaly Petrov crossing the line 6.6 seconds behind his team-mate. Grosjean also claimed a further point by setting the fastest lap. Andreas Zuber (FMSI) was awarded third position. All drivers, apart from one, changed only their rear tyres during their pitstop due to the higher concentration of wear experienced on the rears at this unique, traction demanding circuit.
Maldonado, Jerome dAmbrosio (DAMS) and Nico Hulkenberg (ART Grand Prix) were the podium finishers at the end of Saturdays eventful 30 lap sprint race and Petrov set the fastest lap. Grosjean continues to lead the drivers championship on 31 points from Petrov and dAmbrosio both on 18. Barwa Addax Team leads the teams championship with 49 points from DAMS on 21. ART Grand Prix is third with 20 points.
The next round of the 2009 GP2 Series will be held at Istanbul on June 5-7, where Bridgestones medium compound will be used for the second time this season in place of last years hard specification tyre.
Quote from Didier Perrin – Technical Director of the GP2 Series
If you look at the top qualifying result here it is 1.559 seconds faster than last year and the impact on lap time is mainly due to the softer compound Bridgestone tyres and the 2009 Renault engine rebuilt by Mecachrome. Our data tells us that 0.3 seconds off the lap time is attributable to the engine at this particular track, so we can conclude from this that there is also a positive and considerable impact on times because of the new tyres. We insisted on having softer Bridgestones this year to improve the entertainment of the racing and to benefit lap times.
Quote from Hirohide Hamashima – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development
The performance of our Bridgestone super soft tyre was good this weekend and degradation levels were as expected. The GP2 Series is pleased with our choice of tyre for Monaco, it was the correct specification for this venue. All drivers changed their rear tyres in race one as wear here is known to be higher on the rears than the fronts, just one of the drivers actually changed all four. It was another fantastic result for Grosjean in the feature race and our general step towards softer specification tyres this season is working well.