Posted on April 18, 2012


There are quite a few unknowns going into this race weekend. Sakhir circuit has been modified from the 2010 event, without the extra loop, which was added just for that event. This means the track is shorter by just under a kilometer and four braking zones have been removed. The last time this layout was used there was still refueling in F1, so the strategy for this year will be completely new. With lots of corners following each other and a heavy car at the start of the race, Bahrain is one of the toughest circuits of the year on More…

Posted on April 9, 2012


Next weekend is the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai. Strategy decisions for this race are always on a knife edge; there are several ways to do the race, especially with the cars being close together on performance this year and with the two Pirelli tyre compounds also being close on performance. And after what happened in Malaysia, teams will be working hard in Friday practice to understand how the tyres are likely to perform on long runs and in qualifying. This year getting the right car set up to deal with both is proving very tricky, largely thanks to the More…

Posted on March 21, 2012


This weekend F1 is straight back on track for the second round of the world championship at Sepang in Malaysia. The teams will be dealing with a different kind of track, one with high energy corners, longer straights and one that punishes the tyres far more than Melbourne. This Briefing is designed to give you the readers a closer understanding of what the teams aim to get right when approaching the race in terms of preparation and strategy planning. Our Race Strategy Calculator has now been reset with Malaysia settings. This includes a sophisticated tyre model based on the performance More…

Posted on March 13, 2012


How will the teams approach the first race of the season? What difference will the new Pirelli tyres make to the racing? Will there be more stops or less? What is the likelihood of a safety car in Melbourne? You will find the answers here. The new season kicks off this week ‘Down Under at Melbourne’s Albert Park and we welcome back the JA on F1 Race Strategy content strand, in partnership with UBS, which was so popular last season. For each race we will produce a pre-race briefing and a post race analysis. The content is prepared by JA More…

Posted on November 14, 2010


The championship is over, the title is decided in Sebastian Vettel’s favour but the nagging question everyone is wrestling with tonight is, how did Ferrari get its tactics so wrong? We have seen often this season how strategy can win races, but today we saw it lose a championship. Of course no championship is won or lost on one race, but when a driver has an eight point lead and needs only a top four finish, it can cost a championship if you get it wrong. Fernando Alonso started the race in third position, needed only to finish fourth and More…

Posted on October 13, 2010


I was fascinated by the way Jenson Button attacked the Japanese Grand Prix, with his strategy of running the hard tyre in qualifying and the first part of the race. It didn’t work for him and he has pretty much dropped out of contention for the title as a result. Actually “attacked” is the wrong word, because if anything this strategy showed timidity – perhaps even a lack of confidence. For a championship contender up against some fierce competitors, with four races to go, it seemed an odd thing to do. Surely Jenson should have gone out there on the More…

Posted on October 4, 2010


This extraordinary championship has – hopefully – four more chapters in store for us. The title is still Mark Webber’s to lose; he has the fastest car and a ten point advantage. He has also had a couple of slices of “champions’ luck” this year and he has shown a willingness to gamble, in which I’m very interested. Meanwhile Fernando Alonso is the man with the momentum. He and Ferrari are peaking at just the right moment. In the last five races Alonso has scored 93 points, Webber 74, Vettel 60, Hamilton 55 and Button 44. Amazingly if you look More…

Posted on September 13, 2010


Jenson Button maintained a narrow lead over Fernando Alonso for the first 36 laps of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, but lost the race when he pitted first. It was a game changing decision by McLaren. After the race Button said it was the wrong decision, while McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh said it was the right one. So what is the truth? Did the call to pit Button before Alonso cost him what would have been a historic and memorable victory? Button got the lead at the start, but it was clear from the performance of the Ferrari that More…

Posted on September 3, 2010


The Belgian Grand Prix was a race where a lot of decisions needed to be taken, many on the hoof, due to the uncertain weather conditions, which had prevailed throughout the weekend. It is a fascinating case study in how teams and drivers pick their way through a race, based on the evidence of Friday practice, best guesses about what the other teams will do and lots of instinct. Big decisions on Saturday had a knock-on effect to Sunday. Timing the final qualifying run was everything and Mark Webber and Red Bull got it just right, putting on a new More…

Posted on August 5, 2010


The Hungarian Grand Prix has developed a reputation as a bit of a dull race over the years, although there have been some races where due to strategy reasons, the race has been enthralling. One that springs to mind was the 1998 classic, when Ferrari’s Ross Brawn switched Michael Schumacher on a three stop strategy, which required him to knock out 20 laps of qualifying level intensity to beat the McLarens of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard. Mark Webber faced a similar task on Sunday, as he and his engineer took the decision not to pit under the safety car More…

Posted on July 29, 2010


The German Grand Prix at Hockenheim didn’t turn out the way many people expected for many reasons and there were some big decisions taken, which we will be talking about for some time. The two widely different tyres behaved far better than expected, leaving few tactical options to the teams, while Ferrari were more competitive than many had expected and were the centre of attention. They took a one-two finish, but not in the same order in which they ran for most of the race. But what was the mechanism by which this crucial decision was taken? If it had More…

Posted on July 15, 2010


The British Grand Prix at Silverstone was the first race on the new circuit layout and we had some great racing. There were some interesting tactical calls, made both before and during the race, which affected the outcome. As far as race tactics are concerned, the strategy was decided for the top ten teams by the qualifying rules, so having all opted to qualify on the faster soft tyre, they were obliged to start the race on it. All the other runners outside the top ten, who had a choice, did the same, with the exception of the Force India More…

Posted on July 4, 2010


The European Grand Prix at Valencia will be remembered for the enormous accident suffered by Mark Webber from which he mercifully walked away. But it was also another race where some vital decisions were taken in the heat of the moment, which shaped the outcome, especially when Webber’s accident triggered a safety car. There were some important decisions to be made in qualifying, with a tricky one as to which tyre to use. There wasn’t much to choose between them and some people found that the hard tyre was fast on the second lap, but the soft was also faster More…

Posted on June 16, 2010


The Canadian Grand Prix was the most exciting race of the season, but also one of the most interesting tactically. There were some important decisions to be made in qualifying which affected the way teams tackled the first part of the race, but there were also big decisions to be taken during the race, reacting to events. It was clear from Friday practice that the tyres were going to be a big problem in Montreal. They grained very badly and the rears were degrading very quickly. Drivers found that once they started to go, the performance dropped very quickly. There More…

Posted on June 3, 2010


Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix was a fairly normal race by 2010 standards until the controversial collision between the two Red Bull team mates. But that collision happened because of some big decisions on fuel saving tactics, which are becoming clearly a critical part of the story behind the races. And in the case of the Red Bull collision it lead us to reach a fascinating conclusion. And what has been exposed by this incident is how teams are managing the fuel use during the races, how little margin everybody is running and how close they all are to running out More…

Posted on May 19, 2010


Welcome to our look-back at the key decisions which made the Monaco Grand Prix. Monaco is normally a frustrating race for team strategists. Qualifying is so important, it sets the tone for the race and only the start and the sole pit stop give any real opportunity to gain track positions. That said, a safety car at the right moment can make a big difference and this is what happened for Fernando Alonso. For the rest, the start was decisive in the battle between Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel, while the timing of the pit stop led to some changes More…

Posted on May 12, 2010


The Spanish Grand Prix at the weekend was a relatively straight forward affair in strategy terms with the main decisions on tyres pretty clear with little room for variation. But there were some key decisions to be made on the timing of the pit stop, with positions to be won and lost and the second set of tyres to be maintained over a long period. Bridgestone brought with them the soft and hard tyres from their range and it was clear that the soft was the better qualifying tyre. This meant that all the top ten started the race on More…

Posted on April 20, 2010


The Chinese Grand Prix has provided a whole host of fascinating talking points. But in terms of the key decisions taken on the day, they revolve mainly around whether or not to pit for wet tyres in the first few laps and then how to recover from the wrong decision. And these were game changing decisions, which decided the results of the race. The race started in drizzle. Not enough for a change of conditions to be called, so everyone started on the soft compound Bridgestone tyre. At the end of that lap the first batch of drivers wanting a More…

Posted on April 7, 2010


The Malaysian Grand Prix was all about making the right decisions, particularly in qualifying. We have seen in all three races so far that qualifying is having a significant effect on race outcome, because the options for doing something completely different on race strategy are reduced with the refueling ban. Cars which qualify out of position struggle to make up the places, while midfield cars who are able to take advantage can go on and score big points in the race because overtaking is hard. Force India’s Adrian Sutil managed to keep Lewis Hamilton behind him despite the McLaren having More…

Posted on March 31, 2010


Welcome to a new content strand on JA on F1, which will look at the decisive moments after each Grand Prix and the strategy behind them. The content is being sponsored by FX Pro. The Strategy Briefing is produced after consultation with a number of leading F1 engineers and analysis of the data. The idea is to help fans get more understanding of why the race unfolded as it did and to get closer to the sport. As F1 strategy is now less pre-planned and is more reactive, thanks to the no refueling rule, it will analyse the key decisions More…



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