European GP: Race notes - Bridgestone


McLaren Mercedes driver Fernando Alonso scored his third win of the season in a race where Bridgestone's full weather range of Potenza racing tyres were used in a highly eventful European Grand Prix.

Bridgestone's dry grooved racing tyre, wet and extreme wet tyres were all in use over the course of the 60 laps at the 5.15 km Nurburgring. A torrential rain shower started close to the start of the Grand Prix with all runners on Bridgestone's medium compound Potenza dry tyre for the formation lap. Markus Winkelhock (Spyker-Ferrari) however, opted not to take to the grid and started from the pit lane on wets.

Conditions deteriorated so rapidly that making the correct choice of either wet or extreme wet caught many teams out and a number of drivers lost control in the slippery conditions. Soon the amount of water on track meant the race was red flagged until conditions improved. No sooner had the rain finished than the German circuit was basking in sunshine, such is the changeable nature of the weather in the region.

A safety car restarted the race, with Winkelhock leading the field away, his early move to wets and then to the extreme wets having enabled the German to lead his debut Grand Prix. The track dried rapidly and competitors were not required to make use of the soft compound Potenza, as would be normal in a dry race, as the wet and extreme wet tyres had been used.

With nine laps to go to the chequered flag, the rain once more visited the track, meaning another pit stop to change back to Bridgestone's wet Potenzas. The final stint favoured Alonso who was able to catch and pass Massa for the lead, with five laps to go, crossing the finish line 8.1 seconds in front.

Mark Webber finished in third place for Red Bull Racing, scoring his first podium place on Bridgestone Potenzas.

Alonso's win means he is now just two points off McLaren Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton's lead of the Drivers' Championship. Formula One soon heads to Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix, where Bridgestone's soft and super soft compound Potenzas will be used on the tight and twisty track.

Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport Head of Track Engineering Operations: That was an exciting and dramatic race from start to finish. The weather played a major factor and we saw all but the soft compound Bridgestone Potenza in action today. The medium compound was extremely consistent in the dry running with no issues to report. The first shower was a bit of a surprise and the amount of water was too much for the wet tyre. The extreme wet was the correct tyre for these conditions, so it is difficult to make any comments on the tyre performance we saw. For the final laps of the race, after the second shower, the wet was the correct tyre to be on.

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Published: 22/07/2007
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