Bridgestone Motorsport Wrap for 31st August 2009
RAIKKONEN WINS FERRARI'S FIRST FOR ‘09
Kimi Raikkonen broke through to win Ferrari's first grand prix for 2009 at the Belgian Grand Prix, but perhaps the biggest winner out of the weekend's racing was championship leader Jenson Button.
The Brawn GP driver was involved in a first lap incident at Spa Francorchamps that put him out of the race.
However, of his championship rivals, only Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel capitalised with third place and six more points. Button's teammate Rubens Barrichello only managed to pick up two points for seventh place while Australia's Mark Webber was hit with a drive-through penalty and finished out of the points in ninth.
Button still has a 16 point lead going into the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on 13th September.
Raikkonen started on the soft Bridgestone Potenza tyres and managed to pass pole-sitter Giancarlo Fisichella in the early laps.
However, Fisichella underlined Force India's new-found speed by chasing the Ferrari all the way to the flag, eventually finishing just a second behind for the team's first ever points.
The result has the Italian rumoured to take the second Ferrari seat at the Italian Grand Prix in place of the injured Felipe Massa.
"It's been another great day and it was an amazing result today. Before coming to Spa if you had asked all the team if we would have been happy to finish eighth we would have said it was a fantastic result but second is a dream, just great," Fisichella said.
Fisichella started the race on the soft-compound Bridgestone Potenza tyres while Vettel started on the medium-compound but chased the leaders home on the softer of the tyres.
"This has been a very interesting weekend from a tyre perspective, and this has provided a very exciting race. The medium and soft Bridgestone tyres were quite evenly matched for overall performance, and each podium finisher used a different strategy to achieve their result," said Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development.
"We will use the same tyre allocation at Monza, so it will be interesting to see how the teams translate what they have learnt here to the next race."
- Jenson Button Brawn GP 72 points
- Rubens Barrichello Brawn GP 56 points
- Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 53 points
- Mark Webber Red Bull 51.5 points
ROSSI CRASHES, LORENZO WINS AGAIN
The Moto GP title race is tightening up after Italy's Valentino Rossi handed teammate and arch-rival Jorge Lorenzo victory at the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Eight-time world champion Rossi was aiming for his second consecutive Indianapolis victory when he crashed and slid onto the grass on the 10th lap.
He managed to climb back on to the bike, but soon retired in the pits and could only watch as Lorenzo cut his world championship points lead to 25 points.
For Lorenzo, who crashed out of his last two races, it was his third MotoGP of the season. He won the race by more than nine seconds from Honda's Alex De Angelis with American Nicky Hayden third for Ducati.
"I would like to congratulate Jorge Lorenzo and the Fiat Yamaha Team for their excellent victory here today in Indianapolis," said Mikio Masunaga, Bridgestone Corporation Vice President and Senior Officer.
"America is a very significant market for Bridgestone Corporation and we are honoured to be able to come here for the second time this season as MotoGP's Official Tyre Supplier."
Rossi has 212 points, Lorenzo 187 and Casey Stoner 150, the Australian Ducati rider retaining third place despite missing his third straight race through illness