Bridgestone Motorsport Wrap for April 20th 2009

Bridgestone Motorsport Wrap for April 20th 2009


Another wet win for Vettel

Bridgestone's Potenza tyres were at the fore of another rain-affected grand prix with Germany's Sebastian Vettel proving again that he's a wet weather master at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

Vettel led home Australian team-mate Mark Webber for a Red Bull 1-2 and Vettel's second grand prix victory. His first - at Monza last year - was also held in torrential rain.

 Red Bull
 Red Bull 1st and 2nd in China

"It's unbelievable - I'm so, so happy. Winning my second race, one with Toro Rosso and one with Red Bull, makes me extremely happy and I hope we can continue working in this direction," Vettel said.

Persistent rain saw almost the entire field go through the race on wet weather Bridgestone tyres with only a couple of drivers gambling on the intermediate tyre during the race.

"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," said Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone's Director of Motorsport Tyre Development.

"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."

Third and fourth went to the Brawn GP pairing of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello with Button's third consecutive podium keeping him on top of the championship.

McLaren showed some improvement in Shanghai with Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton finishing fifth and sixth. However, neither Felipe Massa nor Kimi Raikkonen could finish, leaving Ferrari with no points from the first three races and their worst start to a season since 1981.

The next round of the championship is the Bahrain Grand Prix on April 26th.

Championship Standings

 1. Jenson Button                                          Brawn GP  21
 2. Rubens Barichello            Brawn GP  15
 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull10
 4. Timo GlockToyota10
 5. Mark WebberRed Bull 9.5

Whincup continues his perfect form

It was another tough weekend for the Bridgestone-backed teams in the V8 Supercars, but Ford's Jamie Whincup is yet to put a foot wrong after dominating the weekend's event at Hamilton in New Zealand.

The reigning champion won both races to make it 14 wins from his past 17 starts and a perfect 600 points in the 2009 title race.

Will Davison and Garth Tander both managed to secure top-ten finishes with the Bridgestone-backed Holden Racing Team on Sunday, with Davison now third in the standings with 483 points.