Posted on April 8, 2014

The Strategy Report

The Bahrain Grand Prix was one of the most exciting races for many years, featuring wheel to wheel battles throughout the field and lots of interesting strategy work, which affected the outcome. There was a Safety Car, which is a rare occurrence at this circuit and it made for a thrilling climax after the restart, with cars using a mixture of different strategies. But even without the Safety Car, this was a fascinating race from a strategy point of view and here we will analyse and explain some fundamental details which led to the race turning out as it did. More…

Posted on April 1, 2014

The Strategy Report

Only two races into the new hybrid turbo formula, the intense heat of Malaysia was always going to be a stiff challenge for the teams, but once again an impressive 15 cars from the 22 starters made it to the end. Pace was the ultimate decider of this race, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton simply too fast for the rest, leading home a Mercedes 1-2, but behind him there were some good battles in which strategy played a key part in the outcome. Alonso vs Hulkenberg: Different strategies at play Before the race one of the key decisions was whether to More…

Posted on March 18, 2014

The Strategy Report

The first Grand Prix run to the new 1.6 litre hybrid turbo formula featured some fascinating strategy details, some inspired decision-making and plenty for the drivers and strategy engineers to work with. This season with the UBS Race Strategy Report we will continue our groundbreaking analysis of the key moments of the race, but with enhanced co-operation from teams, to bring an even more in-depth review of the key decisions, to help bring fans closer to the race action. Aborted start The original start had to be aborted, as the Marussia of Jules Bianchi failed to get off the grid. More…

Posted on November 26, 2013

The Strategy Report

The Brazilian Grand Prix ended the 2013 season on a high note, with an exciting race, which was a real journey into the unknown for the drivers and strategists because it was a dry race that came at the end of a wet weekend. The Pirelli medium and hard compound tyres were selected for the weekend, but the first time they came out of the tyre blankets was as the cars went to the grid. This made for an interesting race, where teams had to feel their way as the race unfolded, with no data on tyre wear or degradation More…

Posted on November 19, 2013

The Strategy Report

Not by any means a classic race, the 2013 US Grand Prix, but an interesting one from a number of perspectives. The strategy was quite clearly defined by the conservative tyre choice made by Pirelli. There was little variation across the field with only Jean Eric Vergne starting the race on the hard tyre, while everyone else went with mediums and made one scheduled stop. But there are some interesting talking points and indicators of future trends, which are worth considering from this race. Pre-Race Strategy Expectations Pirelli once again announced the two hardest tyres in the range for the More…

Posted on November 5, 2013

The Strategy Report

Although Sebastian Vettel made a mistake in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, his rivals were not able to press home their advantage and control him on race day, as he took the lead at the start from team-mate Mark Webber. Any chance of his rivals being able to work with strategy to prevent Vettel from taking his seventh consecutive victory went out of the window there. Vettel was able to pull out a lead and preserve the tyres at the same time in the opening stint and then, because he had not used the medium tyres at all More…

Posted on October 29, 2013

The Strategy Report

The Indian Grand Prix was all set up to be a fascinating strategy battle with four of the top ten cars starting the race on the more durable medium compound tyres and six on the soft compound, which was short-lived. Everywhere there were different tactical approaches and possibilities, although some yielded good results, others didn’t work out. Sadly incidents at the start meant that the fastest two of the outliers, Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso were not able to show what they might have done. A strong result for Sergio Perez, however, made the strategy look worthwhile and one wonders More…

Posted on October 15, 2013

The Strategy Report

The Japanese Grand Prix was different from recent races in so far as Sebastian Vettel did not drive away from pole position and control the race. He had to come through from third in the opening stint and needed race strategy to take the victory, in the face of a particularly strong performance by Lotus’ Romain Grosjean. Red Bull split the strategies, putting Mark Webber on three stops and leaving Sebastian Vettel on two. Here’s our in depth analysis of why they did that and whether Webber or Grosjean could have won, looking at several defining moments in the race. More…

Posted on October 8, 2013

The Strategy Report

The Korean Grand Prix was a slow-burner, which came alive in the final part of the race. Once again Sebastian Vettel controlled the race, but he did not dominate it as he had in Singapore. Meanwhile race strategy again played a huge part in the outcome, with Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen again using strategy to make his way from 9th on the grid to 2nd at the flag while teams had to deal with two safety cars. The race also saw some highly unusual happenings: a fire truck on circuit, without the knowledge of Race Control and a front nose failure More…

Posted on September 24, 2013

The Strategy Report

The Singapore Grand Prix has always been a race where strategy plays a large part in the result and this year was no different. Partly this is because there is usually a safety car to work around, which can change the game as it did this year. Partly it’s because this is a race where cars which are more gentle on their tyres can take advantage and do one less pit stop than their rivals. And with a stop taking almost 30 seconds, that’s a big advantage. The safety car presented an opportunity for some and a risk for others. More…

Posted on September 10, 2013

The Strategy Report

The Italian Grand Prix was an interesting race, if not a thrilling one and in some ways it was a perfect illustration of why Red Bull is currently on top of Ferrari, not just in the pace of the car, but in the way it goes racing. It also put paid to the title hopes of Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen, who were both compromised in qualifying and also in the race. Both were very quick on race day on a forced variant strategy, but it wasn’t enough to recover the ground that had been lost. Pre race expectations Before More…

Posted on August 27, 2013

The Strategy Report

The Belgian Grand Prix was not one of the most exciting races of the 2013 season but the weekend featured some fascinating strategic decision making, which had a significant bearing on the outcome of the race. In a slight departure from the normal scope of this report, in addition to looking at the race strategies, we will also look at the strategic decisions taken at the end of qualifying on Saturday, which affected both qualifying and the race. Decisive moments in Qualifying In many ways the qualifying session in Spa was more entertaining than the race and it certainly featured More…

Posted on July 30, 2013

The Strategy Report

The Hungarian Grand Prix was one of the best races of the season so far and once again race strategy was the key to the outcome. The timing of the pitstops and an ability to cut through traffic were the decisive factors in the outcome with Mercedes’ straightline speed advantage a key factor. Since Monaco Mercedes has raised its game in managing the thermal degradation of the tyres in the race – with the exception of Germany on those one-off Pirelli tyres – and is now in line with the field average for degradation. Hamilton set his fastest lap of More…

Posted on July 9, 2013

The Strategy Report

The German Grand Prix was a thrilling tactical battle between Red Bull and Lotus that led to a nail-biting finish. This was brought about by upgrades to the Lotus making it close on performance with the Red Bull and by Pirelli bringing tyres, which encouraged some experimentation with strategy. It wasn’t as interesting a tactical battle as it might have been had the safety car not been deployed after 24 laps, but it was still one of the best of the year. Pre-Event considerations The weather was good on Friday during practice allowing teams to evaluate the new specification Pirelli More…

Posted on July 2, 2013

The Strategy Report

The 2013 British Grand Prix will be remembered for the series of catastrophic tyre failures which befell five of the competitors during the Grand Prix and which had an inevitable bearing on the way that the strategy unfolded. Although tyre failure was the reason why Lewis Hamilton did not win the race, and a gearbox problem denied Sebastian Vettel, there is no doubt that the positions behind the race winner Nico Rosberg were decided by strategy in the closing stages. Two safety cars played their part as did an inevitable sense of caution on the part of the teams when More…

Posted on June 11, 2013

The Strategy Report

What made the Canadian Grand Prix unusual was the fact that after a wet qualifying session, where no dry running was done at all, teams had all new Pirelli slick tyres to race on. This meant that potentially less stops would be possible as the tyres had more life. Against that the track was green because of the rain, so no-one knew what the tyre life would be like in the first stint. The result was a fascinating strategy battle with lots of different approaches taken by the various teams. Although it was a runaway win for Sebastian Vettel, the More…

Posted on May 28, 2013

The Strategy Report

The Monaco Grand Prix was similar in many ways to last year’s event; a race of managed pace, but this year with interesting consequences. It showed a wider strategy on the part of the championship contenders in particular. If you analyse the way they conducted their races, it appears that they were focussed on the championship rather than on challenging for the race victory. Nico Rosberg was the dominant figure in Monaco across practice and qualifying, but he wasn’t well placed in the championship going into the event and he wasn’t challenged in the race as he might have expected More…

Posted on May 14, 2013

The Strategy Report

This race may come to be viewed as a tipping point in the ongoing debate about whether the high degradation Pirelli tyres are good for F1 or not, as two of the three drivers on the podium did a four stop strategy. Pirelli has indicated that they have been “too aggressive” with the construction of the 2013 tyres and will make changes from the seventh round, Montreal, onwards. However against this backdrop, the strategy battle at the heart of this race was fascinating. And it showed that the teams who came out on top were the ones who had the More…

Posted on April 23, 2013

The Strategy Report

The Bahrain Grand Prix was another race packed with action and incident, the outcome heavily influenced by race strategy. The drivers who finished in the top ten tried a wide variety of strategies to attain their result, working around the limitations of the medium and hard Pirelli tyres and the intensely high track temperatures. The DRS wing technical problems encountered by Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who started third on the grid, meant that it was a relatively easy win for Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel. But behind him, everyone else was reliant on strategy for their result as we shall see. The More…

Posted on April 16, 2013

The Strategy Report

The UBS Chinese Grand Prix was another tense race and the outcome was once again decided by race strategy. What made it particularly interesting was that there were different approaches among the leading teams, forced by the disparate performance levels of the soft and medium Pirelli tyres. Team strategists had to find a way to do the fastest race, which meant spending the least amount of time on the weaker tyre and running in clear air as much as possible. Here, with the help and input of several team strategists as well as JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan, More…

Posted on March 26, 2013

The Strategy Report

The Malaysian Grand Prix provided some extraordinary talking points with the dispute between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber the main focus. Although this was primarily a dispute over trust and team orders, some curious race strategy decisions created the circumstances for the Red Bull drama and the Mercedes team orders, as we shall see. Pre-race considerations After the practice sessions the feeling among team strategists was that tyre degradation would be very high, while wear was expected to mean that medium tyres would last 15 laps with the hard lasting 18 laps. But the decisive data would be the degradation More…

Posted on March 19, 2013

The Strategy Report

The Australian Grand Prix got the new season off to a great start, with seven different leaders – a modern day record – and a fascinating strategic battle between Lotus, Ferrari and Red Bull. There were many talking points from the race and things to analyse closely; Lotus’ confidence in opting for two stops; how Red Bull managed to lose a race for which they had qualified in pole position by over a second; how strategy cost Massa a podium finish; why Mercedes switched Hamilton’s plan half way through the race and some desperate moves by McLaren to try to More…

Posted on November 27, 2012

The Strategy Report

The Brazilian Grand Prix was a rollercoaster of a race, with positions and fortunes changing from lap to lap as intermittent rain caused chaos. Sebastian Vettel managed to survive a first lap collision, a broken radio and four pitstops to fight back from 17th place on lap one to sixth at the end to secure the points he needed to win the world championship for the third time. Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, went from seventh on the grid to second at the end, but did not have the pace in the Ferrari to challenge Jenson Button for the win, which would More…

Posted on November 20, 2012

The Strategy Report

Pre-Race Expectations Before the race started, teams were certain that this would be a one-stop race. The Pirelli tyre choice of Medium and hard was quite conservative and there were no signs of the extreme degradation that had been such a feature of the first half of the season. Degradation was 0.02 sec per lap for the medium and 0.01 sec per lap for the Hard. Pirelli had been influenced by the high temperatures in the November 18 week last year and for most of this year the temperatures have been 5 degrees warmer than seasonal average. So everyone expected More…

Posted on November 6, 2012

The Strategy Report

Safety cars in Abu Dhabi are a rare occurrence, but Fernando Alonso has reason to curse them; they have now twice come along to upset the race strategies and both times dealt a blow to his hopes of winning a championship for Ferrari In 2010 a Safety Car at the start of the race allowed Vitaly Petrov to pit for new tyres, enabling him to run the end of the race, blocking Alonso and wrecking his strategy. Last weekend, the Abu Dhabi Safety Car struck again, this time to help his main rival. Red Bull had offered Ferrari an open More…

Posted on October 30, 2012

The Strategy Report

The Indian Grand Prix was an interesting race by recent standards in that, for once, the teams didn’t have to worry about the tyres wearing out and their race strategy was not decided by that. Instead they could focus on pure pace, the drivers able to push to the maximum throughout the Grand Prix. So there was little opportunity for drivers starting outside the top ten to make the kind of progress into the points which we have seen this year from Sergio Perez or more recently the Toro Rosso drivers in Korea. There were two reasons for this: to More…

Posted on October 16, 2012

The Strategy Report

After the unpredictability of the first half of the season, the Korean Grand Prix fell into the pattern we have seen recently – and will probably see in the next two races – of most runners doing a two stop strategy with drivers largely choosing to race on the harder prime compound tyre in the second and third stints. But there were a few counter strategies and some other unusual aspects to Sunday’s race, not least the strange late race messages from Red Bull Racing urging the winner Sebastian Vettel to slow down due to concerns over the front tyres. More…

Posted on October 9, 2012

The Strategy Report

The Japanese Grand Prix this year was a fairly straight forward race, largely due to the lack of competition at the front, after Fernando Alonso was eliminated at the start and Mark Webber and Romain Grosjean were thrown down the order following their collision. Nevertheless strategy played a central part in Felipe Massa’s break-though result and led to some of the other talking points of the race, like the Perez vs Hamilton battle and Schumacher’s challenge for points from the back of the grid. Pre-race thinking Before the race, the thinking was that two stops was the way to go, More…

Posted on September 25, 2012

The Strategy Report

The Singapore Grand Prix can definitely be classed as a “what might have been” race, as the intervention of two safety cars meant that we were denied an exciting and unpredictable finish. Also the retirements of Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado spoiled what would have been intense competition at the front. None of this will have bothered Sebastian Vettel, who took his second win of the season, nor Fernando Alonso, who extended his championship lead over all his rivals bar Vettel. But despite the anti-climactic ending, the strategy decisions and factors that shaped the race are very interesting and worth More…

Posted on September 11, 2012

The Strategy Report

The Italian Grand Prix was one of the most exciting races of the 2012 season so far, which is unusual for Monza. The track has a high-speed character and opportunities for overtaking, but doesn’t always provide excitement. However this year’s race was brought alive by the strategy decisions made by some of the teams and the bold gamble taken by many of them to try to do the race with only one pit stop. It was marginal in terms of tyre life. Some of the tyres that came off the cars at the end had no more than a lap More…

Posted on September 4, 2012

The Strategy Report

Jenson Button’s victory in the Belgian Grand Prix makes him the leading points scorer of the last three races, a reversal of a trend, which began in May, where the British driver and his McLaren team lost their way. The problem Button was suffering from was a lack of performance due to mismatched tyre temperatures between the front and rear tyres and the team was experimenting with various ways of solving that, including heating the tyres from the inside, using heat soak from the brakes. They’ve now found a solution, partly involving aerodynamics to increase rear end grip and aerodynamic More…

Posted on July 31, 2012

The Strategy Report

The Hungarian Grand Prix was far from being a thriller in terms of on track action with hardly any overtaking after the first laps. But it was a very interesting tactical race which leaves a lot of questions to answer, like could Lotus have won the race if they’d done things differently? Why did Button and the Red Bulls make three stops? And how close did Hamilton come to not winning? Pre-race expectations, On Sunday morning most of the strategists were saying it would be a wet race. The forecast had not changed for five days and rain would fall More…

Posted on July 24, 2012

The Strategy Report

The top three cars separated by less than three seconds with a handful of laps to go; it’s the ideal scenario for F1 racing and this is what we had in Germany. All three leaders had followed the same strategy of soft/medium/medium tyres, but this was a weekend which showed a lot about how far many teams have come in getting on top of the Pirelli tyres, which were described by some as a “lottery” early in the season. The tyre selection for Hockenheim was soft and medium, the same as in Melbourne and four other events this season. In More…

Posted on July 10, 2012

The Strategy Report

The British Grand Prix was a tense strategic battle between Red Bull and Ferrari. They went different ways on race strategy and ultimately Red Bull prevailed, Webber passing Alonso five laps from the end. So could Alonso and Ferrari have held on for the win if they had played the strategy differently? That’s one of the questions we’ll be addressing. The challenge of McLaren was blunted again, Lewis Hamilton losing ground on his championship rivals while Lotus again scored strongly with both cars as Grosjean did a unique strategy on Sunday. Background to the race Heavy rain during practice and More…

Posted on June 26, 2012

The Strategy Report

Formula 1 finally got its first two time winner of the season in the eighth round, after a fascinating race, in which Fernando Alonso came from 11th on the grid to win. His victory owned a lot to an excellent start, where he made up three places, to some fine pitwork from the Ferrari mechanics (Alonso’s first stop was two seconds faster than Raikkonen and allowed him to jump the Lotus) and to race strategy. He also rode his luck when the safety car was deployed on lap 28, one of the race’s defining moments. He had several slices of More…

Posted on June 12, 2012

The Strategy Report

The Canadian Grand Prix was always set to be a close finish because of the nature of the track, the options for race strategy and the effectiveness of the DRS rear wing for overtaking. And the data shows that the performance of the McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari on race day was remarkably close, perhaps only a tenth or two of a second in it. The difference was tyre management and, more importantly, strategy. Post race, Red Bull and Ferrari have been accused of making strategy errors which cost the race, but is it true? Here is our customary in More…

Posted on May 29, 2012

The Strategy Report

[Updated]History will show that Mark Webber was the winner of this race, ahead of Nico Rosberg with Fernando Alonso third. Rosberg tried a strategy gamble, to get the lead, by pitting first on lap 27, but it didn’t work out as Webber reacted to it. Sebastian Vettel surprised everyone with his strategy and from 9th on the grid came within five seconds of a winning position. Fernando Alonso made a gain of two places to score a podium and he was happy with that. But with the benefit of hindsight, Alonso could also have won. However to do so he More…

Posted on May 15, 2012

The Strategy Report

The Spanish Grand Prix was a perfect example of how a race can be won or lost on the finest of margins and on a good or bad strategy decision. Pastor Maldonado beat Fernando Alonso and won the race for Williams due to planning and to a good strategy call half the way through the race, while Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen again had the car to win, but was a fraction off due to race strategy and conditions and he ended up third. There were several key moments and decisions which decided the outcome of this race. The main one was More…

Posted on April 24, 2012

The Strategy Report

The Bahrain Grand Prix was another example of close racing with uncertain outcomes, dependent on race strategy, which has already come to characterise the 2012 F1 season. Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull became the fourth different car/driver winning combination in four races, showing not only how closely matched the teams are, but also how delicate the balancing act is in getting the strategy right on the Pirelli tyres. In just four races we have already had eight different drivers on the podium, more than in the whole of 2011. Bahrain’s Sakhir circuit provided the sternest test yet of the tyres, More…

Posted on April 17, 2012

The Strategy Report

The UBS Chinese Grand Prix was a thrilling race, despite the comfortable winning margin for Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes. Race strategy was crucial to the outcome and we also learned a lot about how F1 has changed in 2012, with the field closing up on performance, so the top teams can no longer rely on building gaps over the midfield to drop nicely into after pit stops. The leading teams will have to work much harder than last year on creative race strategy and the drivers will have to do a lot more overtaking. During Friday’s Free Practice 2 More…

Posted on March 27, 2012

The Strategy Report

The Malaysian Grand Prix provided us with an exciting glimpse of what we can expect in 2012, from a racing and strategy point of view. We saw also a phenomenon which could provide the key to the season for whoever wins the title; the ability to be fast on all types of tyre in all conditions. Because judging from the Sepang race, even more so than Melbourne, all the teams are finding it hard to manage that. Hamilton, the pole sitter, for example, wasn’t particularly fast in any condition, while the Sauber was very quick on used intermediates and hard More…

Posted on March 20, 2012

The Strategy Report

The Australian Grand Prix got the new season off to a great start and showed that the race strategy side is going to be as vital as ever to a good outcome. In this first Strategy Report of the year we will look at how Jenson Button was able to dominate the race by taking priority in strategy decision making at McLaren, while Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull used good strategy and a piece of opportunism with the safety car to steal second place away from Lewis Hamilton. We will also see how, for the second consecutive year, Sauber’s Sergio More…

Posted on November 29, 2011

The Strategy Report

This is our final Strategy Report of the 2011 season, looking not just at how the key decisions were made in Brazil, but also at the trends we have seen in 2011 and what we see as the likely trends for 2012. The Brazilian Grand Prix brought to an end a season which has seen Formula 1 run to a quite different pattern in terms of Race Strategy, largely due to the Pirelli tyres. But also because the DRS wing has made it easier for cars to overtake, so less time is lost for fast cars in trying to pass More…

Posted on November 15, 2011

The Strategy Report

This weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was very interesting from the point of view of Race Strategy, with six different strategies in the top ten finishers. Pre race predictions of two stops were the norm, but there was a wide variety of alternatives tried, with Mark Webber doing three stops en route to fourth place and Paul di Resta scoring a points for ninth using a one-stop plan. We also saw McLaren pull off something very audacious at the first stop; they pitted Jenson Button on the same lap as the leader Lewis Hamilton, with only a 12 second window More…

Posted on November 1, 2011

The Strategy Report

Although this was not a thrilling race, it was an intriguing one from a strategy point of view because of the difference between the two types of tyres each driver had to use. Like many races this year, it didn’t turn out the way pre-race expectations had predicted. In fact it was quite a surprise. At the front, Vettel always had something in hand over Button. Although the McLaren was closer at the start of each stint, the Red Bull had the raw pace to ease away each time into a five second cushion. This was a margin Vettel was More…

Posted on October 18, 2011

The Strategy Report

The Korean Grand Prix was a fascinating race from a strategy point of view, with many talking points and there have been lots of questions from fans about whether Mark Webber could have won the race if he hadn’t pitted at the same time as Lewis Hamilton or whether Fernando Alonso could have got on the podium if he’d been released from behind Felipe Massa, as he was in Suzuka. Hopefully the answers are all here. This was one of those races where strategy was always going to be decisive, but where it was vital to be flexible and adaptable. More…

Posted on October 11, 2011

The Strategy Report

The Japanese Grand Prix was all about race strategy. With tyre wear much more tricky to manage than expected, throughout the field the drivers who succeeded were the ones whose teams got the strategy right, not just on race day but on qualifying day too. There were some pretty contrasting races at the front. Of the top three, Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull had the worst tyre performance and Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari had the best. Alonso was nowhere near as quick as Vettel at the start of each of the stints, but he was always the quickest of the three cars More…

Posted on September 27, 2011

The Strategy Report

Strategy wise, this race didn’t turn out as expected. The key consideration for the strategists on Sunday was thermal degradation of the tyres, especially the rears. This is due to the surface temperature of the tyres being very high, due to braking, traction and very heavy fuel loads at the start. With Singapore being a high fuel consumption track, cars were over 10 kilos heavier at the start than for the average F1 race. Before the race, the talk was of three stop strategies at the front and so it proved for the leading four cars, but the way they More…

Posted on September 13, 2011

The Strategy Report

Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix was one of the best races of the season from the point of view of wheel to wheel combat. But because of the unique nature of the Monza circuit, it also featured some fascinating decision-making by teams on race strategy, not just in terms of tyre strategy and pit stops, but also in terms of how to set up the cars, particularly wing level and gearing. With top speeds reaching 350km/h, one of the key decisions was how to balance the use of the DRS wing (giving a 6-8km/h speed boost) while not hitting the rev More…

Posted on August 30, 2011

The Strategy Report

The Belgian Grand Prix was one of the most interesting races of the season from a strategy point of view, with the top four finishers using four different strategies. Most of the practice was run in wet conditions, so no-one had any tyre data and therefore raceday was a voyage into the unknown. How long would the soft tyre last? How much slower would the medium tyre be than the soft per lap? What was known after qualifying, as a result of most drivers doing up to six laps in Q3, was that the soft front tyres were blistering, even More…

Posted on August 2, 2011

The Strategy Report

The Hungarian Grand Prix was a fantastic race, again very close between the top four cars, any one of which could have won it. The closeness of competition and changeable conditions made it another race where strategy was the decisive element. The winner put together the right combination of decisions, based on the data assembled in practice and a judgement when a sudden shower fell late in the race, not to pit for intermediate tyres but to wait it out. Meanwhile several drivers saw their races compromised by poor strategy calls and we had three midfield runners in the points, More…

Posted on July 26, 2011

The Strategy Report

The German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring featured three drivers in different cars closely matched on performance. As the winner Lewis Hamilton observed, it was all about being perfect and not making mistakes and this was as true of the strategists and the pit crews as it was of the drivers. In the end it came down to some inspired driving and finely balanced strategy calls. But further down the field we saw some varying strategies making a difference to the race result, particularly in the case of Adrian Sutil, who finished sixth ahead of the Mercedes and Renaults. The More…

Posted on July 12, 2011

The Strategy Report

This was a very interesting race from a strategy point of view, there were a lot more unknowns than normal, particularly with the tyres, as there was so little dry running before the race. And then there was the partially wet track at the start, which forced everyone to start on intermediate tyres, but how long for? Prior to the start most strategists were thinking of a three stop race, with some further back on the grid planning to do one less stop to try to make up places. The wet start meant two things which made life easier; drivers More…

Posted on June 28, 2011

The Strategy Report

The European Grand Prix at Valencia was the least exciting race of the season so far from the point of view of spectacle. But from a race strategy point of view it was quite interesting. It was less frantic than some of the races we have experienced so far this year and, surprisingly, there was no safety car. As a result the teams had some time to consider their options during the race. Many had planned to do the race on a two-stop strategy, which on paper was eight seconds faster than a three-stop, assuming you had a trouble-free run More…

Posted on June 14, 2011

The Strategy Report

By common consent, the Canadian Grand Prix this year was an absolute classic. It had everything; great racing, safety cars, rain, collisions and some very tight strategy calls, often with little data with which to work. The strategists were really tested on Sunday and it made for a fascinating race. Jenson Button won despite a drive through penalty, five pits stops, two collisions and a whole lap with a puncture. Even more incredible is to look at it like this; in the 70 lap race there were only 38 racing laps in total. The other 32 were safety car laps. More…

Posted on May 31, 2011

The Strategy Report

Each race we look in depth at the strategies and analyse the decisions taken in the heat of battle and sometimes we see teams and drivers taking big risks. We also see the part that luck can play in the outcome. Both are particularly true when you are trying to get a good result in Monaco. All the strategists know that there is a 71% chance of a safety car here and if it falls at the right time it can make your race – as it did this year for Sutil and Kobayashi. But if it falls at the More…

Posted on May 24, 2011

The Strategy Report

This year’s Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona was widely heralded as one of the most exciting largely due to the way strategies played out, meaning that an intense battle for the lead developed in the final third of the race. Also we saw the pole sitter Mark Webber dropping to fourth place, Fernando Alonso, the leader on lap one, finishing in fifth place a lap down on the winner and the recovery of Jenson Button, from tenth place on lap one to finish on the podium thanks to a bold strategy variation. Pre race Strategies On paper going into the More…

Posted on May 10, 2011

The Strategy Report

The Turkish Grand Prix featured 82 pit stops, a new record for Formula 1 and some spectacular overtaking moves. It was quite a confusing race, which requires some decoding and there are some clear trends emerging which will have a big effect on the way the races happen from now on. It was also another race which was all about strategy; not just in terms of pit stops on race day, but further back than that, it was also about planning a strategy for the whole weekend and particularly for qualifying. After four races with new rules and new tyres, More…

Posted on April 19, 2011

The Strategy Report

So much happened in the Chinese Grand Prix, it’s important to take the time to examine exactly how and why things worked out as they did. The overriding observation is that strategy was the difference between winning and losing on Sunday. While we have seen some interesting mixtures of strategy in the first two races, the podium finishers in both Melbourne and Sepang all did the same strategy. The Chinese Grand Prix was the first race to show variations on this and to illustrate how finely balanced some of the decision making is in F1 this year. Another interesting difference More…

Posted on April 12, 2011

The Strategy Report

As in Melbourne the renewed importance of race strategy was highlighted in Malaysia on Sunday. The tyre degradation was much worse than Melbourne and so reacting and making quick decisions and correct decisions was vital. “A lot of it is getting the strategy right, which is up to the team but also the driver,” said Jenson Button after the race. How right he was. But tyres weren’t the only strategic consideration; the adjustable DRS wing and the difference between cars with KERS and those without was also a far more significant factor in the way the racing played out than More…

Posted on March 29, 2011

The Strategy Report

Making the right decisions at the right time is crucial to success in F1. The race unfolds in a blur and it is very easy to make a bad decision. As we saw in Abu Dhabi last year a bad strategy call can cost a world championship and with so many new variables this season, the opening round of the 2011 World Championship, the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne was something of an experiment for all the teams in terms of race strategy, with the tyres being the dominant factor. We had no safety car this year in Melbourne, another More…

Posted on March 23, 2011

The Strategy Report

There has been a lot of interest in the F1 Strategy Content I mentioned yesterday, which we will be producing this season, supported by F1 sponsor UBS. The Strategy Brief and Report will be cutting edge and incisive content which brings fans and anyone interested in Formula 1, closer to the sport. Anyone who saw last season’s final Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi will know the importance of strategy in F1; one bad strategy call cost Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso the world championship. This year, with new tyres from Pirelli set to change the way the races unfold, understanding the split-second More…



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