F1 Strategy Report Podcast 2017 Episode 7 – Canadian Grand Prix

Episode 7 of the 2017 Strategy Podcast: by Apex Race Manager provides insight & analysis of strategic decisions made during the 2017 Canadian Grand Prix.

Our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Ernie Black – the F1 Poet

Our guest Ernie Black

Our guest Ernie Black

For full written report about the strategy plays in this race, and detailed data (including all the stints and tyre choices) click here. All of the previous written reports are here.

All of our previous F1 Strategy Report Podcasts are here.

APEX Race Manager – it’s out now on iOS & Android.

Contact us on twitter @strategyreport.

F1 Strategy Report Candian Grand Prix 2017

Mont1-2000

Race 7 – 70 Laps – 4.361km per lap – 305.270km race distance – low tyre wear

Canadian GP F1 Strategy Report Podcast – our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Ernie Black – the F1 Poet.

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is known for producing exciting Formula 1 races and it didn’t disappoint in 2017, with a fun and frantic Canadian Grand Prix packed full of fascinating moments.

Despite high temperatures and the challenging nature of the track, a smooth track surface makes for relatively low tyre degradation – meaning it wasn’t the most exciting strategic race we’ve seen.

That was despite the three softest tyre compounds being taken to the race. But, while it wasn’t the most open race in terms of strategy, there were still plenty of headlines and stories to take a look at.

How Hamilton won it

Simply put, Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton were in a league of their own on race day. While Ferrari looked in the mix on Friday and close on Saturday, Mercedes worked hard to get on top of their tyre woes – especially with the ultra-softs – and this showed during the Canadian GP.

Also, with Hamilton out front, he was in clean air and able to manage his own race. So, he put in a relatively straight-forward one-stop race, pitting for the only time on lap 32. A radio message appeared to indicate Mercedes would go to the safer soft tyre to get to the end, but encouraging pace and degradation on the super-soft probably changed their mind.

Bottas loses ground

In the end, Valtteri Bottas didn’t have the pace to challenge Hamilton, and he finished 19 seconds behind first place. But, the Finn could’ve had an easier race had he not come out behind Esteban Ocon at his only pitstop.

This was slightly earlier than planned, because Mercedes said he suffered a flat-spot and needed to get it changed. He needed to find three seconds to emerge ahead of Ocon and could’ve done that had he stayed out without the flat-spot, but the earlier trip to the pits meant that wasn’t possible.

He lost around two seconds behind Ocon before the Force India pitted on lap 32, which cost him some ground. Bottas would still have finished well behind Hamilton but he would’ve had an easier run, after a poor start and getting stuck behind a slower car.

Vettel’s recovery drive

Sebastian Vettel’s chances of a podium finish vanished on lap one when he was tagged by Max Verstappen’s Red Bull at the first corner, which damaged his front wing. Ferrari still looked very strong in race trim but that knock in downforce clearly impacted Vettel’s early speed.

It was puzzling as to why Ferrari didn’t pit Vettel to change the front wing behind the safety car, was while he would’ve been at the back of the train, he would’ve had more time with quick tyres and a proper front wing to bounce back and make up ground in a quicker fashion – even though a two-stop would still have been the way to go.

Instead, Vettel was stopped under green flag conditions on lap five, before a long super-soft stint. The team opted to go for a second stop late on, fitting ultra-softs for a late challenge that almost didn’t pay off, but did in the end – as he jumped ahead of the Force Indias. He was 29 seconds off the lead after his first stop and finished 35 seconds behind Hamilton, so the pace was clearly there.

Mont3-2000

Ineffective stops

Ferrari decided to pit Kimi Raikkonen early in order to undercut Sergio Perez, who had passed him after a wild moment at Turn 8. But, the Finnish driver wasn’t really close enough before the stop to properly make use of it. When it became clear Ferrari needed to go for another plan if they wanted to pass the Force Indias, they pitted Raikkonen for ultra-softs, but a brake issue halted his charge.

Daniel Ricciardo was pitted on lap 18 to cover off Raikkonen, but he was further up the road so there wasn’t really any need for it. He was put on softs, the most durable tyre – a risk in some respects, with its lower grip levels and performance, but they knew it’d get to the end.

It meant Ricciardo had to defend hard but his tyres were still in good shape by the end. But, he did question afterwards if the super-softs would’ve been better, as they lasted a large number of laps and many drivers reached the end on them. Perhaps that would’ve made his life easier, in hindsight.

When Raikkonen and Ricciardo pitted, Perez found himself in clear air but didn’t make the most of it. His pace wasn’t strong enough to properly take advantage of an overcut and Force India pitted him the next lap anyway, going onto super-softs. This was the better option as he was able to attack Ricciardo on the higher grip compound, but he did start to struggle by the end of the race.

Force India vs Force India

One of the major storylines to emerge from the Canadian GP was the inter-team battle at Force India, with Perez refusing to let Ocon through and challenge Ricciardo, which eventually cost them both a spot to Vettel. On lap 49, the Ferrari’s were 13 seconds behind but on much fresher tyres.

Ricciardo did struggle a bit on the soft tyre and with its lower grip levels. But, Ocon did appear to have better pace and Perez also had his issues on the super-soft, especially towards the end. So, it seemed logical to let Ocon have a go, at least for a few laps, as he seemed to have superior pace.

Perez wasn’t having it though and even negotiated with the team over the radio. There didn’t seem to be a clear voice or a firm stance on it, and in the end Perez and Ocon scrapping let Ricciardo escape a little and helped Vettel close in faster.

Alonso misses out

Fernando Alonso narrowly lost out on a point, as he was running 10th when his engine failed with two laps to go. Unsurprising, the engine failure may have been, but his pace up to that point was pretty encouraging and he’d run as high as fourth due to a very, very long ultra-soft stint.

He switched to super-softs on lap 42 and was lapping well, before his race went up in smoke. All weekend he was well clear of Stoffel Vandoorne in terms of pace, and was pushing hard in the race. Honda just let him down once again…

Mont2-2000

Stroll’s first points

Lance Stroll’s come under fire during his rookie campaign so far for some erratic moments and underwhelming drives, but he fought back with a charging drive on home soil in Canada. He picked off a few cars on ultra-softs before pitting for super-softs on lap 25, where his pace transformed and he was able to make up even more ground to finish ninth.

One-stop the way to go

As predicted by Pirelli, low tyre degradation meant a one-stop was the favoured and safer strategy, although a two-stop was used by a few and was the more aggressive choice. It’s not often in 2017 we see all three compounds being used in a race, but we did in Canada as the difference between them was less. The tyres held up well all weekend, with 45 laps the longest ultra-soft stint (Vandoorne), 68 on the super-soft (Romain Grosjean) and 52 on softs (Ricciardo).

Jack Leslie @JackLeslieF1

Longest Stints

Ultrasoft: Vandoorne (45 laps)
Supersoft: Grojean (68 laps)
Soft: Ricciardo (52 laps)

Montreal1

Montreal2

 

 

Stints by Driver

SCSafety Car
Lap 1-3, 11-12

 

mcclorine2. Vandoorne
Start P16
Ultrasoft 45 laps Pit 23.267
Supersoft 24 laps
Finished P14 (+2)

 

redass3. Ricciardo
Start P6
Used Ultrasoft 18 laps Pit 23.309
Soft 52 laps
Finished P3 (+3)

 

Stallion5. Vettel
Start P2
Used Ultrasoft 5 laps Pit 31.596
Supersoft 44 laps Pit 23.345
Used Ultrasoft 21 laps
Finished P4 (-2)

 

Stallion7. Raikkonen
Start P4
Used Ultrasoft 17 laps Pit 23.5
Supersoft 24 laps Pit 23.76
Used Ultrasoft 29 laps
Finished P7 (-3)

 

has8. Grosjean
Start P14
Ultrasoft 1 laps Pit 31.256
Supersoft 68 laps
Finished P10 (+4)

 

saucer9. Ericsson
Start P19
Ultrasoft 11 laps Pit 24.047
Supersoft 58 laps
Finished P13 (+6)

 

RR11. Perez
Start P8
Used Ultrasoft 19 laps Pit 23.229
Supersoft 51 laps
Finished P5 (+3)

 

mcclorine12. Alonso
Start P12
Ultrasoft 42 laps Pit 23.526
Supersoft 24 laps
Finished P16 (-4)

 

Franks18. Stroll
Start P17
Ultrasoft 25 laps Pit 22.79
Supersoft 44 laps
Finished P9 (+8)

 

Franks19. Massa
Start P7
Used Ultrasoft 1 laps
Retired L1 (DNF)

 

has20. Magnussen
Start P18
Supersoft 46 laps Pit 28.869
Ultrasoft 23 laps
Finished P12 (+6)
Torro26. Kvyat
Start P11
Ultrasoft 15 laps Pit 18.088
Used Ultrasoft 38 laps Pit 1:46.374
Soft 1 laps
Retired L54 (DNF)

 

Boatus27. Hulkenberg
Start P10
Used Ultrasoft 11 laps Pit 26.764
Supersoft 59 laps
Finished P8 (+2)

 

Boatus30. Palmer
Start P15
Ultrasoft 11 laps Pit 24.423
Supersoft 58 laps
Finished P11 (+4)

 

redass33. Verstappen
Start P5
Used Ultrasoft 10 laps
Retired L10 (DNF)

 

saucer94. Wehrlein
Start P20
Supersoft 1 laps Pit 51.757
Ultrasoft 39 laps Pit 24.202
Ultrasoft 28 laps
Finished P15 (+5)

 

mercury44. Hamilton
Start P1
Used Ultrasoft 32 laps Pit 23.061
Supersoft 38 laps
Finished P1 (+0)

 

Torro55. Sainz
Start P13
Ultrasoft 1 laps
Retired L1 (DNF)

 

mercury77. Bottas
Start P3
Used Ultrasoft 23 laps Pit 22.946
Soft 47 laps
Finished P2 (+1)

 

RR31. Ocon
Start P9
Used Ultrasoft 32 laps Pit 23.409
Supersoft 38 laps
Finished P6 (+3)

07-canada-lap-chart

Boletim Estratégico: Grande Prêmio do Canadá 2017

Mont1-2000

7ª Etapa – 70 Voltas – 4.361km por volta – 305.270km distância total – desgaste baixo de pneus

Canadian GP F1 Strategy Report Podcast – our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Ernie Black – the F1 Poet.

O circuito Gilles Villeneuve já se tornou referência de corridas eletrizantes, e 2017 não foi exceção, com um GP do Canadá recheado de momentos emocionantes.

Mesmo com as altas temperaturas e a natureza desafiadora da pista, a superfície lisa proporciona um desgaste mais baixo da borracha, limitando a variedade de escolhas estratégicas.

Essa degradação foi baixa mesmo com os três compostos mais macios sendo levados para Montreal, todavia, se por um lado a corrida não foi muito aberta em termos de estratégia, ainda tivemos diversas histórias interessantes para observar.

Como Hamilton venceu a prova?

De maneira breve, Lewis e a Mercedes estavam em uma liga própria na corrida. Mesmo com alguns sinais de competitividade da Ferrari na sexta e no sábado, a equipe alemã trabalhou duro para resolver seus problemas com os pneus, especialmente os ultra macios, evolução que ficou evidente no GP do Canadá.

Além disso, liderando tranquilamente, o inglês teve a chance de correr de cara para o vento e administrar sua corrida com tranquilidade. Lewis partiu para uma estratégia básica de apenas uma parada, trocando sua borracha na volta 32. A princípio a Mercedes havia indicado que optaria pela escolha segura dos pneus macios, entretanto, a performance animadora e os baixos índices de degradação dos super macios mudaram a estratégia da equipe.

Bottas perde terreno

Ficou evidente que o finlandês não tinha performance para desafiar Hamilton, terminando 19 segundos atrás do líder. Todavia, Bottas poderia ter feito uma corrida mais tranquila caso não tivesse ficado preso atrás de Esteban Ocon após sua única parada.

Seu pit-stop foi mais cedo do que esperado porque, segundo a equipe, o piloto havia dechapado seu pneu e precisava trocá-lo. Ele precisava encontrar três segundos para voltar a frente da Force India e poderia ter alcançado essa marca se tivesse parado de acordo com a estratégia original, mas o contratempo custou caro.

Bottas perdeu cerca de 2 segundos atrás de Ocon, perdendo ainda mais terreno em relação ao seu companheiro de equipe. O finlandês terminaria em segundo de qualquer forma, mas teria encarado um GP do Canadá muito mais tranquilo não fosse uma largada ruim e o tempo perdido atrás da Force India.

Corrida de recuperação de Vettel

As chances de pódio do alemão desapareceram ainda na primeira volta, após o toque de Max Verstappen na curva 1, danificando sua asa dianteira. O ritmo de corrida da Ferrari ainda pareceu ser muito forte, mas o dano impactou a pressão aerodinâmica do alemão significativamente.

A equipe ainda optou por não chamar o líder do campeonato para os boxes enquanto o carro de segurança estava na pista, uma decisão intrigante, uma vez que o piloto poderia voltar no final do trem e ter mais tempo, pneus e uma asa dianteira inteira para recuperar o tempo perdido de uma maneira mais eficiente, mesmo que a estratégia de duas paradas ainda fosse a indicada.

O alemão parou na volta 5, após a saída do Safety Car, calçando os super macios e partindo para um longo stint intermediário. A Ferrari ainda o chamaria novamente para colocar os ultra macios em uma segunda parada tardia, estratégia que quase não funcionou, mas Vettel ainda conseguiu saltar as Force Indias, terminando a prova em 4º. O tetracampeão estava 29 segundos atrás de Hamilton após a primeira parada e terminando 35 segundos atrás do líder, provando que seu bólido tinha um ótimo ritmo de prova.

Mont3-2000

Paradas pouco efetivas

A Ferrari optou por parar Kimi antecipadamente, com o objetivo de saltar Sergio Perez, que havia ultrapassado a Ferrari ainda na primeira volta. Entretanto, o finlandês não estava perto o suficiente para fazer a manobra funcionar. Quando ficou claro que a estratégia não tinha funcionado, a escuderia chamou Kimi novamente, trocando para ultra macios em busca de um último stint meteórico, mas uma falha nos freios acabou com o possível ataque.

Daniel Ricciardo foi chamado na volta 18 para cobrir a parada de Kimi, mas o australiano tinha uma vantagem suficientemente grande para não precisar mudar de estratégia. A Red Bull ainda o devolveu para a pista com pneus macios, um certo risco, tendo em vista os níveis reduzidos de aderência, mas o piloto conseguiria chegar até o final do GP sem intercorrências.

Isso também fez com que Daniel tivesse pneus inteiros na briga pela 3ª posição nas voltas finais, contudo, o australiano ainda questionou a escolha da Red Bull, já que os super macios pareciam ser a opção ideal e diversos pilotos conseguiram chegar até o final com tranquilidade usando os pneus vermelhos.

Quando Raikkonen e Ricciardo pararam, Perez teve a pista livre mas não aproveitou a oportunidade. Seu ritmo não era forte o suficiente para concluir um overcut e a Force India acabou o chamando para os boxes na volta seguinte, trocando para os super macios, que eram a melhor opção na briga pelo pódio, mas Perez começou a sofrer com desgaste excessivo perto do fim da prova.

Force India vs Force India

Uma das principais batalhas no GP do Canadá foi a batalha interna na Force India, com Perez se negando a deixar Ocon passar para tentar desafiar Daniel Ricciardo, decisão que acabou custando uma posição para os dois ao serem ultrapassados por Sebastian Vettel. Na volta 49, as Ferraris ainda estavam 13 segundos atrás, mas se aproveitaram muito bem dos pneus novos.

Ricciardo enfrentou dificuldades com níveis baixos de aderência dos pneus macios. Enquanto isso, Ocon começava a apresentar um ritmo de corrida melhor e Perez lidava desgaste nos seus super macios. Dito isso, o processo lógico seria deixar o francês tentar buscar o último degrau do pódio, mesmo que por apenas algumas voltas.

Perez não aceitou as ordens de equipe e até negociou com seu engenheiro pelo rádio. Sem uma voz mais clara ou uma postura mais firme, a prova acabou com a batalha interna entre Ocon e Perez, facilitando a aproximação de Vettel e permitindo que Ricciardo tivesse um final de prova menos perigoso.

Alonso quase pontua

Fernando Alonso quase marcou seu primeiro ponto de 2017, não fosse um problema de motor com 2 voltas restantes, jogando fora a 10ª posição do espanhol. Mesmo que o abandono não seja surpresa, sua performance até esse ponto havia sido extremamente animadora, chegando a estar em 4º durante um stint inicial bem extenso com os ultra macios.

O bicampeão trocou para super macios na volta 42 e manteve suas ótimas voltas até ser forçado a sair da prova. Além disso, Alonso havia dominado seu companheiro de equipe durante todo o final de semana e estava muito competitivo na corrida, sendo traído pela Honda mais uma vez.

Mont2-2000

Primeiros pontos de Stroll

O canadense vinha sofrendo forte pressão em sua temporada de estreia devido a alguns acidentes e pilotagens abaixo da média, entretanto, o jovem piloto se recuperou com uma ótima performance em casa. Stroll fez algumas ultrapassagens com os ultra macios, antes de calçar os super macios na volta 25 e voltar ainda mais competitivo para a segunda metade da prova, terminando seu primeiro GP do Canadá em 9º.

Apenas uma parada

Como previsto pela Pirelli, o baixo índice de desgaste em Montreal fez com que a estratégia de uma parada fosse a escolha mais segura e indicada, mesmo que algumas equipes ainda tenham optado pelo caminho mais agressivo de duas passagens pelos boxes. A utilização dos três compostos na corrida não tem sido comum em 2017, mas a diferenças entre os três pneus era pequena no Canadá. Os três foram bem resistentes durante o final de semana, Vandoorne levou os ultra macios mais longe, completando 45 voltas com o composto, Grosjean fez 68 com os super macios e Ricciardo rodou 52 calçando os macios.

Texto Original: Jack Leslie @JackLeslieF1

Stints mais longos

Ultra macios: Vandoorne (45 voltas)
Super macios: Grosjean (68 voltas)
Macios: Ricciardo (52 voltas)

Montreal1

Montreal2

 

 

Stints by Driver

SCSafety Car
Lap 1-3, 11-12

 

mcclorine2. Vandoorne
Start P16
Ultrasoft 45 laps Pit 23.267
Supersoft 24 laps
Finished P14 (+2)

 

redass3. Ricciardo
Start P6
Used Ultrasoft 18 laps Pit 23.309
Soft 52 laps
Finished P3 (+3)

 

Stallion5. Vettel
Start P2
Used Ultrasoft 5 laps Pit 31.596
Supersoft 44 laps Pit 23.345
Used Ultrasoft 21 laps
Finished P4 (-2)

 

Stallion7. Raikkonen
Start P4
Used Ultrasoft 17 laps Pit 23.5
Supersoft 24 laps Pit 23.76
Used Ultrasoft 29 laps
Finished P7 (-3)

 

has8. Grosjean
Start P14
Ultrasoft 1 laps Pit 31.256
Supersoft 68 laps
Finished P10 (+4)

 

saucer9. Ericsson
Start P19
Ultrasoft 11 laps Pit 24.047
Supersoft 58 laps
Finished P13 (+6)

 

RR11. Perez
Start P8
Used Ultrasoft 19 laps Pit 23.229
Supersoft 51 laps
Finished P5 (+3)

 

mcclorine12. Alonso
Start P12
Ultrasoft 42 laps Pit 23.526
Supersoft 24 laps
Finished P16 (-4)

 

Franks18. Stroll
Start P17
Ultrasoft 25 laps Pit 22.79
Supersoft 44 laps
Finished P9 (+8)

 

Franks19. Massa
Start P7
Used Ultrasoft 1 laps
Retired L1 (DNF)

 

has20. Magnussen
Start P18
Supersoft 46 laps Pit 28.869
Ultrasoft 23 laps
Finished P12 (+6)
Torro26. Kvyat
Start P11
Ultrasoft 15 laps Pit 18.088
Used Ultrasoft 38 laps Pit 1:46.374
Soft 1 laps
Retired L54 (DNF)

 

Boatus27. Hulkenberg
Start P10
Used Ultrasoft 11 laps Pit 26.764
Supersoft 59 laps
Finished P8 (+2)

 

Boatus30. Palmer
Start P15
Ultrasoft 11 laps Pit 24.423
Supersoft 58 laps
Finished P11 (+4)

 

redass33. Verstappen
Start P5
Used Ultrasoft 10 laps
Retired L10 (DNF)

 

saucer94. Wehrlein
Start P20
Supersoft 1 laps Pit 51.757
Ultrasoft 39 laps Pit 24.202
Ultrasoft 28 laps
Finished P15 (+5)

 

mercury44. Hamilton
Start P1
Used Ultrasoft 32 laps Pit 23.061
Supersoft 38 laps
Finished P1 (+0)

 

Torro55. Sainz
Start P13
Ultrasoft 1 laps
Retired L1 (DNF)

 

mercury77. Bottas
Start P3
Used Ultrasoft 23 laps Pit 22.946
Soft 47 laps
Finished P2 (+1)

 

RR31. Ocon
Start P9
Used Ultrasoft 32 laps Pit 23.409
Supersoft 38 laps
Finished P6 (+3)

07-canada-lap-chart

F1 Strategy Report Podcast 2017 Episode 6 – Monaco Grand Prix

Episode 6 of the 2017 Strategy Podcast: by Apex Race Manager provides insight & analysis of strategic decisions made during the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix.

Our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Matt Clayton, Australian Motorsport Editor, RedBull.com.

SRP2017E06-Guest

Our guest Matt Clayton

For full written report about the strategy plays in this race, and detailed data (including all the stints and tyre choices) click here. All of the previous written reports are here.

All of our previous F1 Strategy Report Podcasts are here.

APEX Race Manager – it’s out now on iOS & Android.

Contact us on twitter @strategyreport.

F1 Strategy Report Monaco Grand Prix 2017

Monaco3-2000
Race 6 – 78 Laps – 3.337km per lap – 260.286km race distance – very low tyre wear

Monaco GP F1 Strategy Report Podcast – our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Matt Clayton, Australian Motorsport Editor, RedBull.com.

The 2017 Monaco Grand Prix was far from a thriller, but with the new breed of Formula 1 cars, was that really much of a surprise?

Kimi Raikkonen lined up on pole position but it was Sebastien Vettel who claimed victory, extending his championship lead over Lewis Hamilton to 25 points.

Hamilton’s recovery to seventh place came after a disappointing qualifying session, where traffic and yellow flags saw him eliminated in Q2.

Despite high temperatures, the low-grip track surface and durable nature of the Pirelli tyres limited strategy. Nevertheless, there was still some scope to do something different and plenty of strategic headlines to delve into:

How Raikkonen lost the race

He was starting from the best place on the grid after a stunning qualifying lap, but Raikkonen wasn’t quite so happy (let’s be honest, when’s he ever that smiley?) after the Monaco GP. Qualifying is even more crucial around the streets of Monte Carlo and with a strong start, the battle for the win came down to the pitstops.

Some have suggested Ferrari directly favoured Vettel by giving him a stronger strategy, in order to maximise track position. Of course, this was denied, but the Raikkonen pitstop call doesn’t make a whole lot of sense really – maybe it’s just another one of Ferrari’s occasional strategy errors.

Raikkonen pitted just after Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas, who were both doing solid but not spectacular sector times on super-softs. Ferrari must’ve known traffic could play its part too, but still stopped Raikkonen. It wasn’t a super-quick pitstop, so maybe they just missed the window they wanted, but it still cost him time and (most importantly) track position.

His pace was comparable – but not quite so as consistent – as Vettel’s, but when he realised he was behind him, he backed off. Definitely a missed opportunity and no wonder he was even more downbeat than usual afterwards.

And how Vettel won it

Keeping in touch with Raikkonen through the first stint put Vettel in a strong position, with the ‘overcut’ working much better than many expected. The ultra-soft had very little degradation and around a seven tenth advantage, so it was surely going to be the best tyre to be on. Vettel stayed out five laps longer than Raikkonen and pitted on lap 39.

He picked up his pace with some impressive in-laps, which were traffic-free (as Raikkonen was caught up behind some slower cars), and a good stop meant he emerged clear of his team-mate in first place.

Ricciardo’s long first stint

Daniel Ricciardo put in a very similar strategy to Vettel, utilising the ‘overcut’ and pitting several laps later than his closest rivals Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas. The ultra-softs kept a good pace for some time, enabling Ricciardo to do some fast laps and pit on lap 38. He emerged ahead, much to Verstappen’s frustration…

Monaco1-2000

Mad Max vs Flying Finn

What made things even worse for Verstappen was than he not only lost a place to Ricciardo, but he also dropped behind Bottas too. This was after Mercedes aced the in-lap and pitstop for Bottas, who pitted one lap earlier and did a nice out-lap as well. The ‘undercut’ worked well for Bottas and this cost Verstappen. Had he done something similar to Ricciardo, it might have been a very different result. In the end, though, he stopped for a second time at the safety car.

Hamilton stays out

As mentioned earlier, surely a smart move was to stay out as long as possible on the incredible durable but quick ultra-soft tyre. That’s what Hamilton did and it worked very well, he used the Mercedes W08’s strong pace (not shown in Q2) and the ultra-soft to move up the order as others pitted.

Then, when he decided to stop on lap 46, from sixth place, he only lost one position. The strategy played out very well in getting Hamilton up the order, helped by a few incidents and drivers getting caught in battles, which cost them time in the process. Maximum damage limitation for the three-time champion with a ‘super-overcut’, you could call it.

Vandoorne does the same

Stoffel Vandoorne looked on course for a point in 10th place after doing the same as Hamilton and staying out for a long opening ultra-soft stint, pitting on lap 43. It looked to have worked as he gained a few spots but crashing out just after the restart put pay to his race.

Monaco2-2000

Unscheduled stops

A number of drivers should really have scored better results had it not been for unscheduled trips to the pits. Sergio Perez ditched his ultra-softs fairly early for super-softs (in part due to a front wing change) and this dropped him down to P16, which put him in slower traffic. A point may have been possible without a “PlayStation” move on Daniil Kvyat which required another stop for repairs.

His team-mate Esteban Ocon’s impressive run of top 10 results came to an end due to a puncture, which denied him a possible point as he had to stop for a second time – which was no-one’s plan, really. Kevin Magnussen also picked up a puncture, which prevented him from beating his team-mate Romain Grosjean.

Barely any deg

Monaco’s low-grip track surface really is unique, presenting a completely different set of conditions. Pirelli took the three softest compounds to Monaco but even the ultra-soft had barely any degradation or wear, the tyre manufacturer admitting it could probably last the entire race.

Pascal Wehrlein did the most ultra-soft laps with 56 before he was pitched into the barrier, his Sauber on its side, by Jenson Button at Portier. Perez did the most super-soft laps with 47, while the soft wasn’t used in the race and barely made an appearance all weekend. This meant a one-stop was always going to be the only strategy call.

Jack Leslie @JackLeslieF1

Longest Stints

Ultrasoft: Wehrlein (56 laps)
Supersoft: Perez (47 laps)

Monaco2Pirelli

Monaco1Pirelli

Stints by Driver

SCSafety Car
Lap 60-66

 

mcclorine2. Vandoorne
Start P12
Used Ultrasoft 43 laps Pit 24.768
Supersoft 23 laps
Retired L66 (DNF)

 

redass3. Ricciardo
Start P5
Used Ultrasoft 38 laps Pit 24.183
Supersoft 40 laps
Finished P3 (+2)

 

Stallion5. Vettel
Start P2
Used Ultrasoft 39 laps Pit 24.306
Supersoft 39 laps
Finished P1 (+1)

 

Stallion7. Raikkonen
Start P1
Used Ultrasoft 34 laps Pit 24.833
Supersoft 44 laps
Finished P2 (-1)

 

has8. Grosjean
Start P8
Used Ultrasoft 40 laps Pit 24.66
Supersoft 38 laps
Finished P8 (+0)

 

saucer9. Ericsson
Start P19
Supersoft 35 laps Pit 24.949
Ultrasoft 28 laps
Retired L63 (DNF)

 

RR11. Perez
Start P7
Used Ultrasoft 16 laps Pit 31.313
Supersoft 47 laps Pit 25.026
Used Ultrasoft 9 laps Pit 35.485
Used Ultrasoft 6 laps
Finished P13 (-6)

 

mcclorine22. Button
Start P20
Ultrasoft 1 laps Pit 24.465
Supersoft 38 laps Pit 26.057
Used Ultrasoft 18 laps
Retired L57 (DNF)

 

Franks18. Stroll
Start P17
Ultrasoft 41 laps Pit 26.69
Supersoft 26 laps Pit 25.248
Ultrasoft 4 laps
Finished P15 (+2)

 

Franks19. Massa
Start P14
Ultrasoft 38 laps Pit 24.353
Supersoft 24 laps Pit 25.123
Used Ultrasoft 16 laps
Finished P9 (+5)

 

has20. Magnussen
Start P11
Ultrasoft 37 laps Pit 24.979
Supersoft 5 laps Pit 26.04
Used Ultrasoft 36 laps
Finished P10 (+1)
Torro26. Kvyat
Start P9
Ultrasoft 36 laps Pit 24.406
Supersoft 35 laps
Finished P14 (-5)

 

Boatus27. Hulkenberg
Start P10
Ultrasoft 15 laps
Retired L15 (DNF)

 

Boatus30. Palmer
Start P16
Ultrasoft 42 laps Pit 25.472
Supersoft 36 laps
Finished P11 (+5)

 

redass33. Verstappen
Start P4
Used Ultrasoft 32 laps Pit 25.343
Supersoft 28 laps Pit 25.678
Used Ultrasoft 18 laps
Finished P5 (-1)

 

saucer94. Wehrlein
Start P18
Supersoft 1 laps Pit 25.813
Ultrasoft 56 laps
Retired L57 (DNF)

 

mercury44. Hamilton
Start P13
Used Ultrasoft 46 laps Pit 24.155
Supersoft 32 laps
Finished P7 (+6)

 

Torro55. Sainz
Start P6
Used Ultrasoft 37 laps Pit 24.427
Supersoft 41 laps
Finished P6 (+0)

 

mercury77. Bottas
Start P3
Used Ultrasoft 33 laps Pit 24.308
Supersoft 45 laps
Finished P4 (-1)

 

RR31. Ocon
Start P15
Ultrasoft 36 laps Pit 24.299
Supersoft 3 laps Pit 24.496
Ultrasoft 21 laps Pit 24.642
Ultrasoft 18 laps
Finished P12 (+3)

06-monaco-lap-chart

F1 Strategy Report Podcast 2017 Episode 5 – Spanish Grand Prix

Episode 5 of the 2017 Strategy Podcast: by Apex Race Manager provides insight & analysis of strategic decisions made during the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix.

Our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Craig (Scarbs) Scarborough from ScarbsTech.com.

Our guest - Scarbs

Our guest – Scarbs

For full written report about the strategy plays in this race, and detailed data (including all the stints and tyre choices) click here. All of the previous written reports are here.

All of our previous F1 Strategy Report Podcasts are here.

APEX Race Manager – it’s out now on iOS & Android.

Contact us on twitter @strategyreport.

F1 Strategy Report Spanish Grand Prix 2017

Spain-1-2000Race 5 – 66 Laps – 4.655km per lap – 307.104km race distance – medium tyre wear

Spanish GP F1 Strategy Report Podcast – our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Craig (Scarbs) Scarborough from ScarbsTech.com.

This is what we’ve been waiting for, right? A wheel-to-wheel, strategic and exciting battle between two top drivers and teams for Formula 1 race victory.

That’s exactly what happened at the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton overhauling Sebastian Vettel in a feisty battle to take his 55th career victory and 2nd of the season.

It was a race that featured so many fascinating ingredients: From clashes to overtakes, battles and incidents. But strategy also played a crucial role in deciding the result of the Spanish GP.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya’s unique characteristics and the warm Spanish temperatures threw up numerous strategy decisions and headlines, let’s take a look at the most important ones:

How did Hamilton win it?

There were a few interesting strategic points that helped Hamilton win the race. Having lost the lead to Vettel at Turn 1, Mercedes opted to go much longer with Hamilton’s first stint, sacrificing the gap to the Ferrari at that stage in order to better set up the race later on.

Mercedes tried to maximise the time spent on the softs, at the start and end of the race, which gave him an advantage against Vettel in the final stint. He was of course helped by a perfectly-timed final stop, which took advantage of the virtual safety car.

This prompted Ferrari to pit Vettel the lap after the VSC had finished. This put Hamilton right into contention and on the soft tyre, he had the performance advantage to eventually take the lead back and storm to victory.

Where’d it go wrong for Vettel?

Ferrari tried the undercut with Vettel and while this gained him some time, he did lose out behind the slower Daniel Ricciardo initially, coming out in some traffic. Valtteri Bottas then held him up for a few more laps, which brought Hamilton closer after he emerged from his pitstop.

The VSC really did seal the deal for Vettel. Having to put under green flag conditions cost him a large chunk of time and he was then put onto the less grippy medium tyre for the final part of the race, when the soft compound could still go the distance and had better performance.

Soft tyre the way to go

As was evident with Hamilton’s strategy, the soft tyre was by far the preferred race compound and teams tried to spend as little time as possible on the mediums. This was because the soft tyre had better grip and performance while still having impressive durability.

Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber did the most laps on a set of soft tyres with 33, while Nico Hulkenberg, Marcus Ericsson and Wehrlein managed 32 laps on the mediums. The hard tyre only appeared in the early part of FP1 and was not seen again.

Felipe Massa called the tyre a “joke” and Esteban Ocon admitted it was “terrible”, with no grip. Pirelli seemed too conservative with their tyre picks for Spain, obviously with limited data when the choices were made.

 

Spain-3-2000

Pascal stars with alternative strategy

Wehrlein was the only driver to complete a one-stop strategy in the race and because of the durability of the tyres, it worked out really well. The Sauber seems fairly kind on its tyres and the German driver was able to go until lap 33 on his soft tyres, before switching to mediums.

The long opening stint helped him rise up the order and, helped by numerous retirements and incidents, he found himself in seventh place at the chequered flag. This was helped by the Barcelona track being tricky to overtake at, with Carlos Sainz Jr. shadowing him for much of the last stint.

His one stop was well timed by the virtual safety car but the call was rushed, which meant he pulled into the pits too late to make the bollard which drivers must stay right of. This gave him a five-second time penalty and dropped him to eighth, still Sauber’s first points of 2017.

Kvyat basically one-stops

Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat basically did a one-stop. Well, kind of. He technically pitted twice but his first trip to the pits was on lap one, to ditch the mediums he started with. The Russian driver started from the back row anyway, so it was a risk worth taking, and then he was left on the more favoured soft. This helped him make up ground and he eventually finished ninth.

All of the stops

Quite a few drivers benefitted from the first lap incidents and various retirements to make up places, leading to rather lonely races. Daniel Ricciardo mirrored Hamilton’s two-stop to finish a distant third.

The Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon went for soft-soft-medium stints and claimed fourth and fifth, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, who did the same. They benefitted the most from the action-packed opening laps.

 

Spain-2-2000

Lost opportunities?

Felipe Massa lost out on a potential foruth place with his lap one puncture, after contact with Fernando Alonso while trying to avoid the Kimi Raikkonen/Max Verstappen incident. This put both drivers out of sync and made it hard for them to recover – Alonso lost a few places, while Massa fell to the back of the pack. A late puncture for Kevin Magnussen after a clash with Kvyat cost him a possible ninth, which also caused an unscheduled stop.

Jack Leslie @JackLeslieF1

Longest Stints

Soft: Wehrlein (33 laps)
Medium: Wehrlein, Hulkenberg, Ericsson (32 laps)

All the Data

Thanks to Pirelli Motorsport for the detailed infographics

Spain-Pirelli-2

Spain-Pirelli-1

Stints by Driver

SCSafety Car
Lap 33-37 (Virtual)

 

mcclorine2. Vandoorne
Start P20
Medium 12 laps Pit 22.547
Soft 20 laps
Retired L32 (DNF)

 

redass3. Ricciardo
Start P6
Used Soft 21 laps Pit 21.811
Medium 17 laps Pit 21.918
Soft 28 laps
Finished P3 (+3)

 

Stallion5. Vettel
Start P2
Used Soft 14 laps Pit 22.499
Soft 23 laps Pit 22.307
Medium 29 laps
Finished P2 (+0)

 

Stallion7. Raikkonen
Start P4
Used Soft 1 laps
Retired L1 (DNF)

 

has8. Grosjean
Start P14
Soft 19 laps Pit 22.866
Used Soft 15 laps Pit 22.641
Medium 31 laps
Finished P10 (+4)

 

saucer9. Ericsson
Start P16
Soft 18 laps Pit 22.995
Soft 14 laps Pit 22.775
Medium 32 laps
Finished P11 (+5)

 

RR11. Perez
Start P8
Used Soft 18 laps Pit 25.082
Soft 16 laps Pit 23.107
Medium 31 laps
Finished P4 (+4)

 

mcclorine14. Alonso
Start P7
Used Soft 12 laps Pit 22.69
Used Soft 19 laps Pit 23.354
Medium 20 laps Pit 22.923
Used Soft 13 laps
Finished P12 (-5)

 

Franks18. Stroll
Start P18
Soft 12 laps Pit 22.1
Soft 21 laps Pit 22.071
Medium 31 laps
Finished P16 (+2)

 

Franks19. Massa
Start P9
Used Soft 1 laps Pit 40.612
Used Soft 12 laps Pit 22.292
Used Soft 20 laps Pit 23.066
Medium 31 laps
Finished P13 (-4)

 

has20. Magnussen
Start P11
Used Soft 13 laps Pit 22.703
Soft 20 laps Pit 23.814
Medium 30 laps Pit 25.052
Used Soft 1 laps
Finished P14 (-3)
Torro26. Kvyat
Start P19
Medium 1 laps Pit 22.235
Soft 32 laps Pit 22.117
Soft 32 laps
Finished P9 (+10)

 

Boatus27. Hulkenberg
Start P13
Soft 15 laps Pit 22.49
Used Soft 18 laps Pit 22.362
Medium 32 laps
Finished P6 (+7)

 

Boatus30. Palmer
Start P17
Medium 2 laps Pit 23.159
Soft 19 laps Pit 22.762
Soft 21 laps Pit 24.75
Soft 22 laps
Finished P15 (+2)

 

redass33. Verstappen
Start P5
Used Soft 1 laps
Retired L1 (DNF)

 

saucer94. Wehrlein
Start P15
Soft 33 laps Pit 23.445
Medium 32 laps
Finished P8 (+7)

 

mercury44. Hamilton
Start P1
Used Soft 21 laps Pit 21.544
Medium 15 laps Pit 21.722
Soft 30 laps
Finished P1 (+0)

 

Torro55. Sainz
Start P12
Soft 13 laps Pit 22.432
Used Soft 21 laps Pit 21.934
Medium 31 laps
Finished P7 (+5)

 

mercury77. Bottas
Start P3
Used Soft 26 laps Pit 21.689
Medium 12 laps
Retired L38 (DNF)

 

RR31. Ocon
Start P10
Used Soft 16 laps Pit 22.616
Used Soft 18 laps Pit 22.643
Medium 31 laps
Finished P5 (+5)

05-spain-lap-chart_1

Boletim Estratégico: Grande Prêmio da Espanha 2017

Spain-1-20005ª Etapa – 66 Voltas – 4.655km por volta – 307.104km distância total – Desgaste médio de pneus

Spanish GP F1 Strategy Report Podcast – our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Craig (Scarbs) Scarborough from ScarbsTech.com.

Era por isso que nós estávamos esperando, certo? Uma batalha roda com roda entre os dois melhores pilotos e equipes do grid pela vitória.

Foi exatamente isso que aconteceu no GP da Espanha de 2017, terminando com a vitória de Lewis Hamilton, superando seu rival alemão após diversas batalhas durante a prova. Essa foi a 55ª vitória do inglês, sua segunda do ano.

A corrida proporcionou diversos ingredientes interessantes, desde batalhas e ultrapassagens até polêmicas e acidentes. Todavia, a estratégia também foi um fator decisivo para o resultado do GP. Eis alguns dos pontos estratégicos mais importantes do Grande Prêmio da Espanha.

Como Hamilton venceu?

Alguns pontos estratégicos ajudaram Hamilton a vencer essa prova. Após perder a liderança na curva 1, a Mercedes optou por estender muito mais o primeiro stint do inglês, sacrificando a diferença momentânea para Sebastian Vettel com o objetivo de otimizar a estratégia no fim do GP.

A equipe buscou maximizar o tempo de pista calçando os pneus macios no começo e no fim da prova, o que deu ao tricampeão uma vantagem em relação à Vettel no stint final. Lewis ainda foi auxiliado por um timing perfeito na última parada da corrida, se aproveitando do Safety car virtual.

Isso fez com que a Ferrari chamasse Vettel na volta seguinte, quando o VSC já havia terminado. Isso colocou Hamilton de volta na briga pela vitória e usando pneus macios, vantagem suficiente para o inglês pular para a liderança e vencer a prova.

Como Vettel perdeu a prova

A Ferrari tentou usar o undercut com Vettel, e mesmo que essa estratégia tenha rendido alguns segundos, o alemão perdeu um certo tempo atrás de Daniel Ricciardo inicialmente. Algumas voltas depois, Valtteri Bottas também o segurou bastante, trazendo Hamilton para a briga após a janela de pit-stops.

O Safety car virtual realmente acabou com a corrida do tetracampeão, visto que parar com bandeiras verdes custou segundos preciosos. Além disso, Vettel voltou dos pits com os pneus médios para a parte final da prova, enquanto os macios ainda tinham a capacidade de ir até o fim do GP.

Macios dominando a prova

Tal qual a estratégia escolhida por Lewis Hamilton, os macios foram os pneus mais usados durante o GP da Espanha, enquanto as equipes tentavam se livrar o mais rápido possível dos médios. Esse foi o caso graças à aderência, performance e durabilidade dos amarelos.

Pascal Wehrlein foi o piloto que mais rodou com os macios, completando 33 voltas, enquanto Hulkenberg, Ericsson e o próprio Pascal fecharam 32 com os médios. Os pneus duros só apareceram no começo do FP1 e não foram vistos novamente.

Felipe Massa falou que o pneu era uma piada e Esteban Ocon afirmou que o composto era terrível, além de não ter aderência nenhuma. A escolha da Pirelli para o GP da Espanha pareceu ser muito conservadora, entretanto, temos que considerar a telemetria limitada que os italianos possuíam quando essa escolha foi feita.

 

Spain-3-2000

Pascal brilha com a estratégia alternativa

Wehrlein foi o único piloto a completar a prova com apenas uma passagem pelos boxes, especialmente graças à durabilidade dos pneus. A Sauber pareceu ser bem gentil com a borracha em seus bólidos, uma vez que o alemão conseguiu completar 33 voltas com os macios antes de calçar os médios.

O stint de abertura mais longo e os incidentes na parte da frente do grid o ajudaram a escalar o pelotão com mais facilidade. Pascal cruzou a linha de chegada em 7º, contando também com a pista estreita de Barcelona, já que Sainz ficou preso atrás da Sauber durante boa parte do último stint.

Sua única parada foi perfeitamente executada durante o VSC, entretanto, a chamada foi feita tarde demais, forçando o piloto a cortar por fora da marcação de entrada dos pits. Essa manobra custou uma punição de 5 segundos e o derrubou para oitavo na classificação final, marcando os primeiros pontos da Sauber no campeonato.

Kvyat basicamente faz uma parada

O piloto da Toro Rosso basicamente fez uma estratégia de uma parada. Largando da última fila, o russo optou por parar na volta 1 e se livrar dos pneus médios logo de cara, dessa forma, Daniil teve a possibilidade de passar o resto do GP com os macios, estratégia que o ajudou a fatiar o grid e terminar a prova em uma respeitável 9ª colocação.

Todas as paradas

Alguns pilotos se beneficiaram dos incidentes e abandonos da primeira volta, causando corridas solitárias. Daniel Ricciardo espelhou a estratégia de duas paradas de Lewis Hamilton e terminou a prova em um distante 3º lugar.

As Force Indias de Sérgio Perez e Esteban Ocon optaram pela estratégia de macios-macios-médios, cruzando a linha de chegada em 4º e 5º, a frente de Nico Hulkenberg, que fez a mesma escolha estratégica. Ainda sim, todos esses pilotos se beneficiaram dos acontecimentos da primeira volta.

 

Spain-2-2000

Oportunidades perdidas?

Felipe Massa perdeu um potencial 4º lugar devido à um furo de pneu após a colisão com Fernando Alonso anda na primeira curva, enquanto os dois tentavam escapar do incidente envolvendo Kimi Raikkonen e Max Verstappen. As manobras evasivas prejudicaram ambos os pilotos, Alonso perdeu algumas posições enquanto Massa caiu para último. Um furo de pneu durante a briga com Daniil Kvyat na parte final da prova também custou caro para Kevin Magnussen, que poderia ter terminado em nono mas foi forçado a fazer outra parada.

Texto original Jack Leslie @JackLeslieF1

Stints mais longos

Macios: Wehrlein (33 voltas)
Médios: Wehrlein, Hulkenberg, Ericsson (32 voltas)

Fonte

Agradecimentos a Pirelli Motorsport pelos infográficos detalhados

Spain-Pirelli-2

Spain-Pirelli-1

Stints by Driver

SCSafety Car
Lap 33-37 (Virtual)

 

mcclorine2. Vandoorne
Start P20
Medium 12 laps Pit 22.547
Soft 20 laps
Retired L32 (DNF)

 

redass3. Ricciardo
Start P6
Used Soft 21 laps Pit 21.811
Medium 17 laps Pit 21.918
Soft 28 laps
Finished P3 (+3)

 

Stallion5. Vettel
Start P2
Used Soft 14 laps Pit 22.499
Soft 23 laps Pit 22.307
Medium 29 laps
Finished P2 (+0)

 

Stallion7. Raikkonen
Start P4
Used Soft 1 laps
Retired L1 (DNF)

 

has8. Grosjean
Start P14
Soft 19 laps Pit 22.866
Used Soft 15 laps Pit 22.641
Medium 31 laps
Finished P10 (+4)

 

saucer9. Ericsson
Start P16
Soft 18 laps Pit 22.995
Soft 14 laps Pit 22.775
Medium 32 laps
Finished P11 (+5)

 

RR11. Perez
Start P8
Used Soft 18 laps Pit 25.082
Soft 16 laps Pit 23.107
Medium 31 laps
Finished P4 (+4)

 

mcclorine14. Alonso
Start P7
Used Soft 12 laps Pit 22.69
Used Soft 19 laps Pit 23.354
Medium 20 laps Pit 22.923
Used Soft 13 laps
Finished P12 (-5)

 

Franks18. Stroll
Start P18
Soft 12 laps Pit 22.1
Soft 21 laps Pit 22.071
Medium 31 laps
Finished P16 (+2)

 

Franks19. Massa
Start P9
Used Soft 1 laps Pit 40.612
Used Soft 12 laps Pit 22.292
Used Soft 20 laps Pit 23.066
Medium 31 laps
Finished P13 (-4)

 

has20. Magnussen
Start P11
Used Soft 13 laps Pit 22.703
Soft 20 laps Pit 23.814
Medium 30 laps Pit 25.052
Used Soft 1 laps
Finished P14 (-3)
Torro26. Kvyat
Start P19
Medium 1 laps Pit 22.235
Soft 32 laps Pit 22.117
Soft 32 laps
Finished P9 (+10)

 

Boatus27. Hulkenberg
Start P13
Soft 15 laps Pit 22.49
Used Soft 18 laps Pit 22.362
Medium 32 laps
Finished P6 (+7)

 

Boatus30. Palmer
Start P17
Medium 2 laps Pit 23.159
Soft 19 laps Pit 22.762
Soft 21 laps Pit 24.75
Soft 22 laps
Finished P15 (+2)

 

redass33. Verstappen
Start P5
Used Soft 1 laps
Retired L1 (DNF)

 

saucer94. Wehrlein
Start P15
Soft 33 laps Pit 23.445
Medium 32 laps
Finished P8 (+7)

 

mercury44. Hamilton
Start P1
Used Soft 21 laps Pit 21.544
Medium 15 laps Pit 21.722
Soft 30 laps
Finished P1 (+0)

 

Torro55. Sainz
Start P12
Soft 13 laps Pit 22.432
Used Soft 21 laps Pit 21.934
Medium 31 laps
Finished P7 (+5)

 

mercury77. Bottas
Start P3
Used Soft 26 laps Pit 21.689
Medium 12 laps
Retired L38 (DNF)

 

RR31. Ocon
Start P10
Used Soft 16 laps Pit 22.616
Used Soft 18 laps Pit 22.643
Medium 31 laps
Finished P5 (+5)

05-spain-lap-chart_1

F1 Strategy Report Podcast 2017 Episode 4 – Russian Grand Prix

Episode 4 of the 2017 Strategy Podcast: by Apex Race Manager provides insight & analysis of strategic decisions made during the 2017 Russian Grand Prix.

Our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Josh Kruse from Crash.net.

Our guest Josh Kruse from Crash.net

Our guest Josh Kruse from Crash.net

For full written report about the strategy plays in this race, and detailed data (including all the stints and tyre choices) click here. All of the previous written reports are here.

All of our previous F1 Strategy Report Podcasts are here.

APEX Race Manager – it’s out now on iOS & Android.

Contact us on twitter @strategyreport.

F1 Strategy Report Russian Grand Prix 2017

Russia-2-2000

Race 4 – 52 Laps – 5.848km per lap – 303.897km race distance – very low tyre wear

Russian GP F1 Strategy Report Podcast – our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Josh Kruse from Crash.net.

The Russian Grand Prix wasn’t a thriller, but we weren’t expecting one at the Sochi Autodrom. However, it did throw up a fair few exciting moments and an intense battle for victory.

Valtteri Bottas stormed into the lead at the start and looked in control through the first part of the race, before coming under pressure from Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari late on.

Despite having Vettel breathing down his neck, he kept ice cool to secured his maiden F1 win. Vettel came home second, with Kimi Raikkonen picking up his first podium of 2017 in third.

The unsurprisingly low degradation at the Sochi Autodrom limited strategy opportunities, but there was still a decent amount of strategy storylines to emerge from the Russian GP:

Lightning start

Mercedes and Ferrari looked pretty equal in terms of race pace, so the start was going to be crucial in deciding the Russian GP. Bottas got the perfect launch from the line and tucked into Vettel’s slipstream, moving ahead of him on the run to Turn 2. It was the moment that won him the race.

Ferrari tries something different

Completing fewer laps in Q2 gave Ferrari slightly fresher tyres for the first stint of the race and with the SF70H seeming to be kinder on the Pirelli rubber too, it allowed the team to try a slightly different strategy in order to leap-frog Bottas.

Of course, it didn’t work, but it was still worth a shot. Vettel ran seven laps longer for his first stint, and was still putting in good lap times before diving into the pits. He lost 2.1 seconds to Bottas in the pit phase but a strong run-up to the stop helped him stay ahead of Raikkonen.

Running longer was a gamble for Ferrari but practice long-run pace had indicated the Prancing Horse may have had the edge. From there, with seven laps fresher tyres, Vettel was able to gradually chip away at the leader – helped by a small error by Bottas at Turn 13.

This brought him right into contention but traffic played its part as he got onto the gearbox of the Mercedes. On the last lap, Bottas passed Felipe Massa’s Williams easily on the main straight, but Vettel had to wait until Turn 4 to do so and this cost him vital seconds.

Bottas could well have hung onto the lead even if Massa hadn’t been there, but it certainly provided him with more breathing room.

Hamilton struggles

It was an unusually forgettable weekend in Russia for Lewis Hamilton, on a track many expected Mercedes to dominate at. He looked in better shape on Friday but lost some form on Saturday, before struggling with overheating from a very early part of the race.

He pitted on lap 30, one lap later than Raikkonen and four before Vettel, but wasn’t able to make the most of the fresher tyres due to the overheating issues. Hamilton believes there were some set-up issues as well, which didn’t help matters. So, a lot of work to do for Mercedes to work out what went wrong.

Russia-1-2000

Massa loses positions

A slow puncture for Felipe Massa cost him a potential sixth place. He was on for a one-stop strategy but a trip to the pits on lap 41, switching from new super-softs to used ultra-softs, caused him to fall to the bottom of the top 10. Despite the fresher tyres, he was unable to make much progress in the end and finished one lap down in ninth.

Hulkenberg on the alternate

One of the major strategies that stood out in the race was Nico Hulkenberg’s drive to eighth. He went very, very long on the ultra-softs, putting in a huge 40-lap stint, which left him with fresh super-softs for the final 12-lap run to the flag.

A poor start lost him positions and the alternative strategy looked to be a bid to claw back ground but he finished eighth, just behind Esteban Ocon in the second Force India. The sole Renault to make it to the chequered flag looked decent in race trim, so more could’ve been possible without lap one.

Going for a two-stop

Only four drivers stopped twice for new tyres, and Massa’s was unscheduled. For Stoffel Vandoorne, Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein, they pitted for the first time at the end of lap one, after the safety car was deployed to clear Jolyon Palmer and Romain Grosjean’s crashed cars.

It was thought that they’d be able to ditch the super-softs they started the race on and make it to the end on ultra-softs but that wasn’t the case for any of the drivers. They all pitted from laps 20-24 and then ran to the end.

The strategy was a brave one and was probably done to try and catapult the cars into a point or two if the opportunity arose, but none of the three drivers had the pace to really make an impact on the top 10 and they were the last of the finishers, Vandoorne 14th ahead of Ericsson and Wehrlein.

Russia-3-2000

Low deg

The Sochi Autodrom’s smooth surface meant there was very low degradation, so a one-stop was always going to be the favoured strategy. Hulkenberg put in the most laps on the ultra-soft with 40, while Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat managed 30 laps on the ultra-softs.

Soft tyres barely featured at all throughout the weekend, due to the low wear and grip levels, so the higher grip super and ultra-softs were inevitably going to dominate. In fact, the softs only appeared on Friday and not much running was completed on them.

Jack Leslie @JackLeslieF1

Longest Stints

Ultrasoft: Hulkenberg (40 laps)
Supersoft: Magnussen (30 laps)

All the Data

Thanks to Pirelli Motorsport for the detailed infographics

Pirelli-Russia-2

Pirelli-Russia-1

Stints by Driver

SCSafety Car
Lap 1-3

 

mcclorine2. Vandoorne
Start P20
Supersoft 1 laps Pit 30.006
Ultrasoft 23 laps Pit 35.998
Ultrasoft 27 laps
Finished P14 (+6)

 

redass3. Ricciardo
Start P5
Used Ultrasoft 5 laps
Retired L5 (DNF)

 

Stallion5. Vettel
Start P1
Used Ultrasoft 34 laps Pit 30.097
Supersoft 18 laps
Finished P2 (-1)

 

Stallion7. Raikkonen
Start P2
Used Ultrasoft 29 laps Pit 30.152
Supersoft 23 laps
Finished P3 (-1)

 

has8. Grosjean
Start P19
Ultrasoft 1 laps
Retired L1 (DNF)

 

saucer9. Ericsson
Start P18
Supersoft 1 laps Pit 32.235
Ultrasoft 20 laps Pit 30.655
Ultrasoft 30 laps
Finished P15 (+3)

 

RR11. Perez
Start P9
Used Ultrasoft 27 laps Pit 29.868
Supersoft 25 laps
Finished P6 (+3)

 

mcclorine14. Alonso
Start P15
Ultrasoft 1 laps
Retired L1 (DNF)

 

Franks18. Stroll
Start P11
Ultrasoft 26 laps Pit 29.791
Supersoft 25 laps
Finished P11 (+0)

 

Franks19. Massa
Start P6
Used Ultrasoft 21 laps Pit 29.923
Supersoft 20 laps Pit 29.92
Used Ultrasoft 10 laps
Finished P9 (-3)

 

has20. Magnussen
Start P13
Ultrasoft 21 laps Pit 36.559
Supersoft 30 laps
Finished P13 (+0)
Torro26. Kvyat
Start P12
Ultrasoft 21 laps Pit 29.991
Supersoft 30 laps
Finished P12 (+0)

 

Boatus27. Hulkenberg
Start P8
Used Ultrasoft 40 laps Pit 30.28
Supersoft 12 laps
Finished P8 (+0)

 

Boatus30. Palmer
Start P16
Ultrasoft 1 laps
Retired LF (DNF)

 

redass33. Verstappen
Start P7
Used Ultrasoft 29 laps Pit 29.567
Supersoft 23 laps
Finished P5 (+2)

 

saucer94. Wehrlein
Start P17
Supersoft 2 laps Pit 31.266
Ultrasoft 18 laps Pit 30.799
Ultrasoft 30 laps
Finished P16 (+1)

 

mercury44. Hamilton
Start P4
Used Ultrasoft 30 laps Pit 29.739
Supersoft 22 laps
Finished P4 (+0)

 

Torro55. Sainz
Start P14
Ultrasoft 24 laps Pit 29.973
Supersoft 27 laps
Finished P10 (+4)

 

mercury77. Bottas
Start P3
Used Ultrasoft 27 laps Pit 29.356
Supersoft 25 laps
Finished P1 (+2)

 

RR31. Ocon
Start P10
Used Ultrasoft 26 laps Pit 30.253
Supersoft 26 laps
Finished P7 (+3)

04-russia-lap-chart_1

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