F1 Strategy Report Podcast 2017 Episode 14 – Singapore Grand Prix

Episode 14 of the 2017 Strategy Podcast: by Apex Race Manager provides insight & analysis of strategic decisions made during the 2017 SIngapore Grand Prix.

Our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Trent Price from eRacing Magazine.

Our guest Trent Price

Our guest Trent Price

Don’t forget to fill out our listener survey – go to www.f1strategyreport.com

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 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 Singapore Grand Prix 2017

Singapore2-2000

Race 14 – 58 Laps – 5.065km per lap – 293.633km race distance – low tyre wear

Singapore GP F1 Strategy Report Podcast – our host Michael Lamonato isjoined by Trent Price from eRacing Magazine.

The 2017 Singapore Grand Prix seems destined to be remembered for its impact on the championship, with Sebastian Vettel crashing out and opening the door for an unlikely Lewis Hamilton victory.

Mercedes was the third-fastest car for the entire weekend up until the race, but a combination of that disastrous first-lap crash and the greasy conditions, in which Hamilton has typically excelled, conspired to gift the Briton a commanding championship lead.

Daniel Ricciardo was to be the only challenger, and though his Red Bull Racing car looked mighty during practice and qualifying, Hamilton found an extra gear during the race that made him impervious to any strategic ploys from the opposition.

THE OUTLOOK

Pirelli’s tyre information and much of Friday’s practice data was made useless by the rain that hammered the circuit as the cars sat on the grid.

It was enough to put the track somewhere between intermediate and wet tyres, and without the sun to dry it, the circuit remained slippery for much of the race.

THE RACE


FIRST LAP CRASH PITS HAMILTON AGAINST RICCIARDO

Pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel’s race lasted just metres after he crashed with teammate Kimi Räikkönen and Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen on the run to the first turn.

Lewis Hamilton was busy cruising around the outside of all three and Daniel Ricciardo as the carnage unfolded, and when Räikkönen, Verstappen and Vettel retired, he had only Ricciardo for competition.

Ricciardo and Red Bull Racing had three opportunities to influence the fight for the lead, but not all of them were seized upon.

Singapore5-2000

FIRST TRIGGER — THE SECOND SAFETY CAR

With no-one sure how long the track would take to dry, holding onto the intermediate tyres for as long as possible to avoid making unnecessary stops was the name of the game in the first stint — until the first safety car, that is.

When Daniil Kvyat embedded his car in the barriers on lap 11 and the safety car was deployed, Red Bull Racing took the opportunity to pit Ricciardo without losing places knowing that Hamilton was choosing to stay out and hold track position.

The fresher rubber should have advantaged Ricciardo, but Hamilton was able to lean more on his tyres to keep the Australian at bay.

In the tighter midfield Valtteri Bottas, Carlos Sainz and both Williams drivers stayed out, gaining them positions.

Singapore4-2000

SECOND TRIGGER — THE SWITCH TO SLICKS

Ricciardo’s second opportunity to pressure Hamilton came after lap 20, when the circuit was agonisingly close to being dry enough for slick tyres.

Kevin Magnussen led the way on lap 25, and on the subsequent five laps the rest of the field followed suit.

It wasn’t until lap 29, however, that Ricciardo stopped, which proved too late to have any effect on Hamilton, who pitted one lap later. The ultrasoft tyre required a second lap to warm into its performance range, meaning Hamilton’s next-lap stop deprived Ricciardo of any undercut advantage.

THIRD TRIGGER — THE FINAL SAFETY CAR

The final safety car on lap 39, deployed to rescue Marcus Ericsson’s stranded Sauber from Anderson Bridge, gave Red Bull Racing a potential third opportunity to give Ricciardo a strategic advantage.

With the safety car deployed Ricciardo held an approximately 20-second advantage over Bottas in third as he approached the pit entry, which should have been enough to make a tyre change and emerge ahead of the Finn. Ricciardo could then have pressured Hamilton with fresher tyres at the restart.

The opportunity was missed, however, and when Hamilton aced his restart, the grand prix was effectively lost.

Singapore3-2000

MERCEDES SAFEGUARDS ANOTHER SAFETY CAR

Having seen Hamilton’s lead obliterated by two safety cars and noting that Ricciardo had an opportunity to make a free pit stop during the third deployment, Mercedes instructed Lewis to lower his pace to ensure Bottas could keep closer to Ricciardo.

Hamilton was reluctant, knowing that any drop in concentration could prove terminal for his race, but a combination of his slowing and Bottas finding some rhythm ensured Ricciardo had no strategic opportunities through to the end of the race.

CARLOS SAINZ ERRS, WINS

Carlos Sainz was one of the standout performers of the race, scoring a career-best fourth place finish.

The route to his 12-point haul was deceptively simple: he was one of five drivers, including race winner Lewis Hamilton, to made just one stop.

Sainz and Toro Rosso resisted the temptation to switch to new intermediate tyres during the Kvyat-triggered safety car, which earnt him four places, and he made a clean stop on lap 27 for slick tyres

Here, however, he and Toro Rosso erred, fitting Sainz’s car with supersoft rather than ultrasoft tyres, which left the Spaniard with a pace disadvantage when defending against Perez throughout the second half of the race.

Sainz didn’t crack under pressure, however, making this one of the highlight drives of the night.

Michael Lamonato @MichaelLamonato

ESSENTIAL STATS

Pole position: Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
Winner: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
Strategy: Two stops — intermediate-ultrasoft
Fastest lap: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes — 1:45.008

LONGEST STINTS

Ultrasoft: Stroll (32 laps)
Supersoft: Sainz (31 laps)
Soft: Ericsson (4 laps)
Intermediate: Hamilton (29 laps)
Wets: Wehrlein (19 laps)

PirelliSingapore1 PirelliSingapore2

STINTS BY DRIVER

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

 

R01 R02 R03 R04 R05 R06 R07 R08

14-singapore-lap-chart

F1 Strategy Report Podcast 2017 Episode 13 – Italian Grand Prix

Episode 13 of the 2017 Strategy Podcast: by Apex Race Manager provides insight & analysis of strategic decisions made during the 2017 Italian Grand Prix.

Our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Luca Manacorda from FormulaPassion.it.

Our guest Luca Manacorda from Formula Passion

Our guest Luca Manacorda from Formula Passion

Don’t forget to fill out our listener survey – go to www.f1strategyreport.com

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 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 Italian Grand Prix 2017

Italy1-2000

Race 13 – 53 Laps – 5.793km per lap – 306.720km race distance – very low tyre wear

Italian GP F1 Strategy Report Podcast – our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Luca Manacorda from FormulaPassion.it.

A record number of spectators flocked to Monza for last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, most of them eagerly hoping for Ferrari success at the team’s home race. That wasn’t the case though, with Mercedes dominating proceedings.

But despite Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas running away with a one-two finish and Sebastian Vettel coming home a distant third, there was still plenty of action and drama further back to keep fans and viewers entertained.

Monza’s one of the most unique and exciting races on the calendar and the circuit lived up to its ‘Temple of Speed’ nickname, with some fast-paced action and ridiculous speeds. In fact, Hamilton’s 151.382mph average winning speed is the fifth quickest of all time.

Wet weather produced a crazy qualifying session on Saturday and also threw up some interesting strategic headlines on Sunday, so let’s dive right into the biggest strategy stories from the Italian GP:

Quali chaos

Wet weather threatened on Friday but failed to really appear, but it eventually arrived on Saturday, postponing and delaying qualifying. When the sessions eventually got going properly, the rainy conditions spiced the grid up nicely, with several drivers qualifying out of position.

The wet weather opened up strategy options for the dry race, because all 20 drivers got the choice of tyre compounds for the start.

Grid penalties galore

But, while the wet weather mixed up the order for the start, it was the whole host of grid penalties that properly mixed things up. Nine drivers in total had penalties for gearbox and engine component changes, which is a ridiculous number, really.

Hamilton was the only driver to retain his qualifying position, breaking the all-time pole position record, and he was joined by Lance Stroll on the front row, ahead of Esteban Ocon, Valtteri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel. Max Verstappen was down in P13 and Daniel Ricciardo P16, setting up a tasty fightback for Sunday.

Soft and super-soft

The vast majority of the field went for the softest compound of the options available, the super-soft, for the race start. Despite lacking some data due to Saturday’s rain, degradation and durability was strong at Monza and the super-soft worked well, lasting quite a long time. Four drivers – Ricciardo, Verstappen, Fernando Alonso and Jolyon Palmer – decided to do something different on soft tyres.

Italy5-2000

Ferrari struggles

On home soil, the pressure was on for Ferrari to deliver, but it soon became clear the team was going to struggle at Monza. Vettel and Raikkonen were not happy with the car on Friday and didn’t fare well in Saturday’s wet weather. Grid penalties elevated them on the grid but neither driver had pace to challenge Mercedes drivers and even the Red Bulls appeared faster

Mercedes powers ahead

A well-timed power unit upgrade for Belgium, which customer teams have yet to receive, put Mercedes one step ahead of the pack at Monza and this gave the team an even greater advantage, on a circuit that was always going to suit the Silver Arrows.

Bottas was quick all weekend but still struggled to match Hamilton, struggling a little in the rain on Saturday. Hamilton stormed to pole position and was in complete control in the race. He was able to run his own race, with a long 32-lap stint on super-softs before switching to softs. Bottas made progress in the early laps to move into second place and followed Hamilton into the pits one lap later.

Italy4-2000

Ricciardo goes long

Both Red Bull cars looked set to go long in the first stint, on soft tyres, but Verstappen’s early puncture ruined that. Ricciardo pressed on with that strategy, using the RB13’s superior pace to displace many midfield runners through strategy alone, although he also had to do some on-track overtaking too.

He emerged from his stop in P5, making up several spots compared to where he was before the pitstop cycle began, and quickly made good use of his softer, fresher tyres to put an almighty overtake on Kimi Raikkonen into the chicane for fourth.

The Aussie started closing on Vettel but ran out of time and tyres in the final laps, having to settle for fourth. Interestingly, he completed a similar strategy back in 2014 and 2015 at Monza. Alonso and Palmer both tried to do the same but eventually retired with issues, having battled closely on track.

Italy2-2000

A late charge

Perez tried to do the same as Ricciardo, but on the super-soft tyre for the long first stint, before switching to fresh softs. He had a lot of tyre life and performance towards the end but eventually ran out of time, not helped by those he was battling also having Mercedes power.

It appears there was some scope for improvement, had he pitted a few laps earlier and put those soft tyres to work, he might’ve gained a spot from Massa. Both ended up closing on the duelling Ocon and Stroll, but couldn’t get through.

Pitstop decider

The main battle within the top 10 was decided by pitstops. Stroll was undercut by Raikkonen thanks to an uncharacteristically slow stop from the Williams crew, although Raikkonen’s wasn’t all that speedy either.

Ocon, Stroll and Raikkonen were separated by 0.5 second intervals before the stops but Raikkonen pitted first, followed by Ocon one lap later and then Stroll on the following tour. Stroll was two seconds back from Raikkonen afterwards, and he finished a few seconds behind Ocon at the finish.

Hulk mixes things up

Nico Hulkenberg did the opposite of Ricciardo, pitting early on lap nine to go from super-softs to softs, but while this gave him a speed advantage early in his second stint, it left him easy pickings for Daniil Kvyat and Verstappen to pass him in the closing laps after losing tyre life.

Jack Leslie @JackLeslieF1

Longest Stints

Supersoft: Vandoorne, Bottas (33 laps)
Soft: Hulkenberg (43 laps)

Pirelli1-Italy Pirelli2-Italy

 

Stints by Driver

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

 

R01 R02 R03 R04

13-italy-lap-chart

F1 Strategy Report Podcast 2017 Episode 12 – Belgian Grand Prix

Episode 12 of the 2017 Strategy Podcast: by Apex Race Manager provides insight & analysis of strategic decisions made during the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix.

Our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Phil Horton from Motorsport Week.

Our guest Phil Horton

Our guest Phil Horton

Don’t forget to fill out our listener survey – go to www.f1strategyreport.com

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 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 Belgian Grand Prix 2017

Belgium2-2000

Race12 – 44 Laps – 7.004km per lap – 308.052km race distance – low tyre wear

Belgian GP F1 Strategy Report Podcast – our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Phil Horton from Motorsport Week.

Formula 1 returned to action at Spa-Francorchamps after the seemingly never-ending summer break, and the iconic track hosted another action-packed and exciting race.

Lewis Hamilton started from P1 on the grid after smashing the lap record and matching Michael Schumacher’s all-time pole position record of 68, looking in command throughout the race.

He withstood pressure from title rival Sebastian Vettel and negotiated a safety car restart well to hold onto first place and pick up his third Belgian Grand Prix victory, as well as his fifth of the season.

Vettel picked up second place, his championship lead being cut to seven points, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo making a late charge to third – ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas.

Spa is the longest track on the F1 calendar and threw up a range of different strategy stories. Here are the main strategic headlines from the Belgian GP:

Hamilton pits first

Interestingly, race leader Hamilton was the first of the frontrunners to pit for a fresh set of tyres, diving into his box on lap 12 and going for the soft tyres. It was a lightning-quick stop of 2.3 seconds. Ferrari kept Vettel out two laps longer to try the overcut, feeling his tyres and pace were good enough to continue.

However, his stop wasn’t quite as quick as Hamilton’s, and strong outlaps from the Mercedes gave him a slightly increased advantage after the first round of stops. With both drivers going onto the soft tyre, it appeared they were going for a one-stop, which seemed to be the slightly quicker strategy.

A mix of tyres

Interestingly, all three tyre compounds worked well at Spa, meaning all of them were used for the first stint. Pascal Wehrlein was the only driver to start on the softs but he retired early on, meaning we didn’t get to see what strategy Sauber were going for with that decision.

Felipe Massa, Lance Stroll, Daniil Kvyat, Stoffel Vandoorne and Marcus Ericsson all opted for the super-soft tyres for the first stint, looking to go longer on the more durable and less grippy tyres. However, a few of them pitted before the ultra-soft runners.

This was either because they expected a virtual safety car or safety car from Max Verstappen’s stopped car or wanted to ditch the super-softs, as they weren’t working as well as expected, and looked to go onto a different tyre.

Kimi ruins his race

Kimi Raikkonen’s chance of a podium took a big hit with a 10-second stop/go penalty for failing to slow for yellow flags, when Verstappen retired. This cost him time and track position, which proved costly further down the line.

On the replays, it was clear Raikkonen failed to lift through the yellow flags, and Raikkonen had to serve the stop/go penalty on its own, as the team were expecting a one-stop race. Had he lifted under yellows, he would’ve been in a better position to score a podium.

Belgium1-2000

Safety car shake-up

The deployment of the safety car proved to be perfectly-timed. It was brought out due to the amount of debris from Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon’s contact, at a pivotal time in the race. One-stoppers could effectively get a ‘free’ stop and avoid the possibility of degradation and wear at the end of their final stints.

It came out at a prime time for those stopping for a second time, therefore fitting into their strategy and giving them a free stop too. So, it worked out quite well, although it didn’t particularly mix up the order.

However, it did give us a fascinating prospect – a late sprint to the flag. All three tyre compounds appeared for this final stint, with the two leaders going for different strategies. Hamilton was on the softs, Vettel on the ultra-softs.

This gave Hamilton more tyre life, but Vettel had more performance and the threat of running out of tyres towards the end of the race. The ultra-soft was around one second quicker than the softs but Vettel couldn’t find a way through on Hamilton, and probably lost time trying to follow the Mercedes so closely.

In the end, Vettel couldn’t get close enough, with Hamilton taking the win and Vettel fading slightly in the closing laps.

Ricciardo fights back

With Verstappen retiring, that left Daniel Ricciardo in fifth place. He moved up to fourth with Raikkonen’s stop/go penalty and went onto the super-softs for the second stint, clearly going for a two-stop. The safety car helped effectively give him that second stop for free.

Red Bull gave him ultra-soft tyres for the last stint and this allowed him to attack on the restart, passing Valtteri Bottas for P3. The Mercedes ran wide and lost a place to Raikkonen as a result. Ricciardo’s fast reactions and speed on the restart proved pivotal in him scoring a podium.

Belgium3-2000

Two lots of contact

Force India’s two drivers had a messy race after colliding with each other twice. On the first lap, Sergio Perez was running alongside Nico Hulkenberg on the run to Eau Rouge when Esteban Ocon joined the party. Perez moved across and squeezed Ocon against the wall.

On lap 30, the two clashed at a similar point on the track, Ocon trying to make a move and Perez moving across. The resulting contact gave Perez a puncture and Ocon damaged his front wing, which the resulting safety car helped with.

But, the clashes cost Force India a double points finish, as Ocon recovered to ninth and Perez was down in 17th. Both were running well within the top 10 at the time of the second clash.

Jack Leslie @JackLeslieF1

Longest Stints

Ultrasoft: Sainz (19 laps)
Supersoft: Vandoorne, Kvyat (18 laps)
Soft: Palmer (22 laps)

pirelli1

pirelli2

Stints by Driver

P01 P02 P03 P04 P05 P06 P07 P08 P09 P10 P11 P12 P13 P14 P15 P16 P17R01 R02 R03

12-belgium-lap-chart_0

F1 Strategy Report Podcast 2017 Episode 11 – Hungarian Grand Prix

Episode 11 of the 2017 Strategy Podcast: by Apex Race Manager provides insight & analysis of strategic decisions made during the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Abhishek Takle – F1 Journalist.

Our guest Abhishek Takle

Our guest Abhishek Takle

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 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 Hungarian Grand Prix 2017

HungaryPic2-2000

Race11 – 70 Laps – 4.381km per lap – 306.630km race distance – low tyre wear

Hungarian GP F1 Strategy Report Podcast – our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Abhishek Takle – F1 Journalist.

Formula 1’s annual visit to the Hungaroring featured a fascinating, but not particularly thrilling, 70-lap race. Ferrari took a controlled 1-2 finish, with Sebastian Vettel picking up his second Hungarian Grand Prix win, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.

The first lap was frenetic and fast-paced, before an early safety car neutralised the action. It started to become a bit processional during the mid-part of the race, but it all came alive towards the end as the top five closed up.

Unfortunately, with the circuit being notoriously difficult to overtake on, the order largely remained the same – apart from Lewis Hamilton letting through his team-mate Valtteri Bottas. But, it was a much more intense way to end the race.

High temperatures and slightly heavier tyre degradation predictions indicated a two-stop strategy could possibly be the quicker option, but in the end, it proved to be a much more straight-forward race. Here are all the major strategy headlines:

Naughty Verstappen

Of course, one of the biggest stories from the Hungarian GP was the first-lap contact between Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo at Turn 2. It took Ricciardo out of the race with damage and fluid pouring out of his car, while Verstappen managed to continue on, with a 10-second time penalty.

Verstappen and Ricciardo were side-by-side going into the corner. But, Verstappen locked up, ran deep and slammed into his team-mate. The resulting time penalty proved costly for both drivers, as Red Bull’s pace really came alive in the race – as Verstappen showed.

For much of the first stint, Verstappen was ahead of Lewis Hamilton, but the RB13 looked after its tyres very well – as we have seen before – and he went longer on his pitstop. But, of course, with his penalty, he dropped well behind Hamilton after his lap 42 switch to softs.

But, with not only fresh tyres but good pace, he was able to quickly close on Bottas, Hamilton, Raikkonen and Vettel, and ended up finishing only 13-seconds off the lead. Imagine what could have been possible without the penalty? A podium, for sure.

Team instructions…

Hamilton soon caught Bottas after the pitstops and was clearly the quicker of the two at the time, so Mercedes told Bottas to let his team-mate through and give challenging the Ferrari drivers a go. He did, but frustratingly, after a long stint hunting them down, he couldn’t get close enough to try a move.

When Hamilton had gone past Bottas, he’d promised to let him back through if he was unsuccessful. Verstappen was closing and right behind Bottas on the last lap, but he was a man of his word and let the Finn ahead at the very last corner to take third place.

HungaryPic3-2000

Frontrunning strategies

In all honesty, it was a pretty straightforward race for the top drivers. Bottas went first with the pitstops, diving in on lap 30, followed swiftly by Hamilton on the next trip around the circuit. Ferrari reacted but at that stage, they had a decent advantage – with Vettel and Raikkonen stopping on lap 32 and lap 33 respectively.

Raikkonen was actually frustrated that he was stopped so soon. He felt his pace was good, and he could have gone longer on those tyres. It was a feeling also felt by Hamilton, but team radio issues that were only resolved later in the race prevented him from communicating that to Mercedes at the time.

One-stop for most

Even though the temperatures were extremely high in Hungary, as usual, the early safety car neutralised the race and allowed drivers to extend their first stints – which made it a safe one-stop, in the end. The tyres held up well, with better than predicted degradation, and few drivers experienced issues.

Even though drivers had just one pitstop, there were still a number of issues during those trips to their pit boxes. Nico Hulkenberg had a particularly slow stop, as did Romain Grosjean – which caused his retirement. Even the leaders suffered slightly sluggish stops, so it wasn’t a clean or swift afternoon in the pits.

Sauber problems

It was a tough race for the Swiss outfit. During the safety car, both Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein pitted, and it looked like a daring strategy move to ditch the super-softs for soft tyres. However, it was actually due to both picking up punctures on the opening lap, and this put them off-strategy with the rest of the pack.

Wehrlein played it safe and stopped again for another set of softs on lap 28, but Ericsson stayed out much longer. It looked like he was trying to get to the end but on lap 63 he pitted for super-softs, which ruined that possibility.

HungaryPic1-2000

Not much variation

Unlike recent races, we didn’t see that much variation in the tyres the drivers started on. Just Paul di Resta – making his return, replacing the unwell Felipe Massa at Williams – and Daniil Kvyat took the slightly riskier strategy of lining up on the soft tyres.

In the end, the super-softs proved strong and durable enough to run at good pace without little degradation for well over 30 laps. Verstappen’s 42-lap stint was the longest on that set, and many others did impressively stretched-out first stints, while Ericsson did a mammoth 62 laps on the softs.

The medium tyre was pretty universally unloved for the entire weekend, only making appearances in Friday practice before being ditched. The softer compounds are just too durable and quick to not take advantage of.

Jack Leslie @JackLeslieF1

Longest Stints

Supersoft: Palmer (46 laps)
Soft: Ericsson (62 laps)

PirelliHun-2 PirelliHun-1

Stints by Driver

P01 P02 P03 P04 P05 P06 P07 P08 P09 P10 P11 P12 P13 P14 P15 P16 P17

 

R-01 R-02 R-03

11-hungay-lap-chart

F1 Strategy Report Podcast 2017 Episode 10 – British Grand Prix

Episode 10 of the 2017 Strategy Podcast: by Apex Race Manager provides insight & analysis of strategic decisions made during the 2017 British Grand Prix.

Our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Zach Priest from Superlicense F1 Podcast.

Our guest Zach Priest

Our guest Zach Priest

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 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 British Grand Prix 2017

Britain1-2000

Race10 – 51 Laps – 5.891km per lap – 300.307km race distance – low tyre wear

British GP F1 Strategy Report Podcast – our host Michael Lamonato is joined by Zach Priest from Superlicense F1 Podcast.

Mercedes driver and three-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton was an unstoppable force at his home race, taking a dominant and record-equalling British Grand Prix victory at Silverstone.

He led every single lap in what was a lights to flag victory, but while there wasn’t much action at the very front of the field, there were plenty of entertaining battles and storylines further back – with the podium positions only decided on the last lap.

Late drama due to tyre problems prevented Kimi Raikkonen of a strong second place, with Valtteri Bottas benefitting to finish runner-up and give Mercedes a 1-2 finish. Raikkonen finished third, though, with Sebastian Vettel picking up a puncture just one lap after his team-mate.

It wasn’t the most fascinating strategic race, but nevertheless, there were plenty of interesting headlines to delve into. Let’s take a look…

Rain stays away

In typically Silverstone style, rain played its part during the British GP weekend, but it didn’t arrive for the race. Light showers disrupted the early stages of FP3 and impacted the first segment of qualifying, but the circuit eventually dried out and the sun started to emerge from behind the clouds.

On race day, there was a smaller chance of rain, but despite reports of a few drops, it never really materialised. This meant teams avoided any strategy curveballs and kept it at a straightforward one-stop race. Annoyingly, it did start to chuck it down at Silverstone after the race…

Popular compounds

As we’ve seen before, drivers largely stuck to just two of the three dry tyre compounds during the weekend – the soft and super-soft, which both proved to be durable and had similar performance levels (around seven tenths between them).

Pirelli has been very cautious with its 2017 compounds and it’s prevented drivers from using alternative strategies, with most being one-stop races. It was the same story at Silverstone, although there was a bit more of an opening for a two-stop, but this would likely leave drivers in traffic.

Britain3-2000

Vettel’s mixed fortunes

Ferrari racer and championship leader Vettel pretty much lose his chance of F1 victory at Silverstone in the first few corners, when Max Verstappen got ahead of him and into third. The Red Bull was lapping around one second slower than Hamilton and this dropped Vettel out of contention by the first stops.

However, he did move ahead of Verstappen with an early pitstop on lap 19, ditching super-softs for softs. It was a perfectly-executed undercut, with a brilliant outlap and a slightly faster stop. This enabled him to pull ahead of Verstappen, but he didn’t have the pace to hold off a charging Bottas.

The tyre issues

Pirelli has said that the tyre woes suffered by Ferrari on lap 49 and 50, for Raikkonen and Vettel respectively, are different. The Italian tyre manufacturer is now evaluating what happened. What’s clear, though, is that Vettel’s was a puncture as his tyre was completely destroyed, while Raikkonen’s still kept its shape.

The late drama cost Vettel the most, as he slipped to seventh, while Raikkonen’s tyre let go later around the lap and was still inflated so he made it back to the pits at a quicker pace. This was crucial in keeping him P3.

Bottas fights back

For the second race in a row, Mercedes knew one of its drivers had a grid penalty before qualifying and did something different to set up an attacking race strategy. Bottas set his best Q2 time on softs, which meant he started on the middle tyre compound for a long opening stint before pitting on lap 32.

By that stage, he had already made up a few spots after a good first lap, but having the supersoft tyres at the end of the race allowed him to charge up the order and enjoy some brilliant battles. Verstappen holding Vettel up early on helped, as did Raikkonen’s issue, but it was nevertheless a strong performance – to go from ninth to second.

Britain2-2000

Ricciardo’s feisty charge

Daniel Ricciardo lined up 19th on the grid after penalties and a mechanical issue in qualifying. With more tyres available, he used fresh super-softs for his long first stint, looking after the tyres well – while also battling his way past slower cars.

He had a few knock-backs, after being forced wide early on and dropping back to last, and also losing three spots in the pitstop. The Aussie made those back up though in less than two laps. He was aggressive when he needed to be, but it was also a classic drive of tyre preservation too, keeping his super-softs in good shape and giving him fresher softs for a final fight to the flag.

No points for Vandoorne

Stoffel Vandoorne enjoyed his best weekend of the season so far, making it through to Q3 and almost scoring a point. It all unravelled with a slow pitstop on lap 26, allowing Felipe Massa to undercut him – helped by the Brazilian going from softs to super-softs. Vandoorne kept with Massa though and came close to finishing P10, but it wasn’t meant to be this time.

Sauber try the ‘zero-stop’

The early safety car period on lap two opened up the opportunity to take a risk and Sauber did just that with Pascal Wehrlein. He pitted to go from softs to the unflavoured mediums, the only time the compound was used in the race, before then stopping again to go back onto fresh softs.

The SC basically gave him two free pitstops, but while tyre wear continues to be low, degradation was higher than recent races due to the demanding Silverstone circuit. This meant degradation wasn’t low enough to pull off this daring strategy and several other drivers (such as Wehrlein) had to go for a second stop late in the race.

Jack Leslie @JackLeslieF1

Longest Stints

Supersoft: Ricciardo (32 laps)
Soft: Magnussen (37 laps)
Medium: Wehrlein (1 lap)

PirelliBritain2 PirelliBritain1

Stints by Driver

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 R01 R02 R03

 

10-britain-lap-chart

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