Belgian GP - Bridgestone - RaceKimi Raikkonen
(Ferrari) has taken his fourth win of the season, and fourth in his career on Bridgestone Potenza tyres, after a dominant performance in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps.
Raikkonen led away from the first all-Ferrari
front row of the season and used a medium-medium-soft tyre strategy to win by 4.6 secs from team-mate Felipe Massa, who used the same tyre strategy. Fernando Alonso
(McLaren Mercedes) finished in third, 14.3 seconds behind Raikkonen. Massa set the fastest lap, a 1min 48.036secs on lap 34, using the soft compound.
Spa Francorchamps stayed uncharacteristically dry, meaning that neither Bridgestone’s wet or extreme wet Potenza tyres were used this weekend. Over a race stint duration, the performance of both the medium and soft compound were very similar. Eight of the finishers, including the race winner, used a medium-medium-soft strategy. A one-stop medium-soft choice was used by five finishers, with Heikki Kovalainen (Renault) scoring a point for eighth place by this means. Each one of the four further finishers used a different strategy.
Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes) stays in the lead of the drivers’ championship with 97 points, two points ahead of Alonso. Raikkonen stays in third place with 84 points. Ferrari now lead the constructors’ championship with 161 points and cannot be beaten after McLaren Mercedes were excluded from this year’s championship. BMW Sauber are in second place with 90 points and Renault are in third on 39.
Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tyres will next be in race action at the Japanese Grand Prix at Mount Fuji on September 28-30 where Bridgestone’s medium and soft compound Potenza tyres will once more be used.
Kees van de Grint, Head of Track Engineering Operations
“What a beautiful day at a fantastic circuit! Both of our two compounds worked excellently today. Considering the downforce levels used the tyres provided sufficient grip at this difficult circuit. The medium and soft Bridgestone Potenzas allowed for either a one or two stop strategy and we saw a good range of choices made today. The soft tyre provided more grip, and to please the Dutch fans the orange Spyker of Adrian Sutil took advantage of this in two stints and ran as high as twelfth. Degradation was not a factor, grip was good and we had no problems with wear. However, if we are critical, we did see some tread damage on some tyres, so there is always room for improvement. It is certainly good to be back at Spa and we were rewarded with great weather.”