Sebastian Vettel led his Red Bull Racing team-mate Mark Webber across the line to win a scintillating Malaysian Grand Prix with a soft hard Bridgestone Potenza tyre strategy at a searing hot Sepang.
The rain which visited the circuit for every afternoon in the build-up to the race remained absent, meaning it was tyre strategies using Bridgestones two dry tyres which defined performance, with a good mix of timing and order of use of the hard and soft compounds.
Hiroshi Yasukawa Director of Bridgestone Motorsport, says
Today we saw a very exiting race and I am proud of the part that Bridgestone played in this with a good allocation of tyres, as confirmed by the race winner, Sebastian Vettel. Congratulations to Red Bull for their one-two today, and to Mercedes for Nico Rosbergs third place. It is always a pleasure to visit Malaysia and we have many supporters here. Bridgestone Malaysia celebrated its tenth anniversary around the Grand Prix weekend and they raised over 105,000 Ringgets for their nominated charity – the Global Environment Centre.
Hirohide Hamashima – Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, says
This was a good and interesting race based around tyre strategies. The hard and soft Bridgestone compounds performed very well, but with distinct characteristics. Those who started with the soft tyre had to stop sooner than those who started with the hard, as the soft had a shorter wear life. The hard allowed drivers to continue pushing, as shown by Mark Webber setting the races fastest lap on lap 53 with this tyre. The soft required a more forgiving style to maintain its performance. Drivers were able to use fresh tyres sets in the race, as they did not use these tyres in the wet qualifying yesterday. This meant we saw many fastest race laps as the race progressed, from drivers taking to the track on fresh rubber. Our compounds were able to support a variety of strategies and it was good to see the racing on track between many drivers at different times through the race. Even though the top three drivers used the same strategy, there were strong moves through the field using a hard-soft strategy. So many people predicted rain for this race, but today we did not need wet weather to provide excitement on track.
Stats of the Day
Bridgestone Potenza Driver Tyre Strategies Rd.3 Malaysia Grand Prix
In 2010, the tyre regulations stipulate that the two dry tyre specifications must be visibly distinguishable from each other. At the Malaysia Grand Prix, the soft (option) compound Bridgestone Potenza tyres were marked with green bands on the sidewalls. The wet weather tyres were also marked with a green line in a central groove. Team Race Driver Result Tyre Choice by Stint*:
* Teams may not necessarily change tyres at pitstops
** Includes drive-through/stop-go penalties