Posted on April 16, 2014


The UBS Chinese Grand Prix is always an intriguing race and strategy has played a significant role in the outcome in recent years. Overtaking is easy here because of the longest straight in F1 at 1.17km, so teams can plan for the fastest strategy knowing that traffic will not be a huge problem. That said, the speed differential between cars due to the new hybrid turbo engines, could see cars with less straight line speed struggle to pass midfield cars with good straightline speed. Unlike many F1 venues, where protecting the rear tyres is key to success, Shanghai is all More…

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 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 March 12, 2014


After a winter in which they have coped with a huge rule change, introducing complex hybrid turbo engines, the F1 teams arrive in Melbourne less well prepared for the first race than at any time in recent memory. Only Mercedes and Williams can be said to have achieved the 5,000km target mileage in the three winter tests, while Ferrari were not far off with 500km less. Others, like Red Bull (1,700km) and their fellow Renault powered teams including last year’s Melbourne winners Lotus, are underprepared and will find Melbourne a struggle this year. Reliability of the new 1.6 litre engines More…

Posted on November 20, 2013


The Brazilian Grand Prix is often looked on by engineers and strategists in F1 as the biggest uncertainty of the season – it’s a very difficult race to plan for. The weather often plays a part; last year was a perfect example. It was the championship deciding race, held in tricky wet/dry conditions. When it rains it is very hard to predict how long it will last and how hard it will rain. Then when it stops, there can be dry parts of the circuit and rivers running across other areas. Last year’s race was won by not switching to More…

Posted on July 23, 2013


This weekend’s Hungarian GP will be fascinating from a strategy point of view as it sees the debut of a new specification of Pirelli tyres at the same time as safety measures come in after the incident with a flying wheel in Germany. As a result the pit lane speed limit has been lowered to 80km/h from 100km/h which will add over three seconds to the time needed to make a pit stop. This makes multiple stops less attractive. At the same time extremely high temperatures are forecast as mainland Europe experiences a heatwave. We could see track temperatures in More…

Posted on June 25, 2013


Silverstone has the fastest corner combinations on the F1 calendar and is loved by the drivers. It can be a real headache for the engineers and strategists, however as it often shows up aerodynamic instabilities and it can be very difficult to get a good read on the tyres and the strategy, especially as there is usually rain during the practice sessions. Last year’s race was won on a different strategy call by Red Bull compared to Ferrari, which worked in Mark Webber’s favour. The track was built on a wartime airfield and therefore is in a windy spot, which More…

Posted on March 20, 2013


This weekend the F1 teams move to Sepang, Malaysia for the second round of the championship. After the stunning victory of Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus in Melbourne, all of the leading teams will have gone away to look at how they can work on their car to help the strategy. The goal will be to try to emulate Lotus’ ability to run at a strong pace while using one less set of tyres (and therefore one less pit stop) than the opposition. The conditions in Melbourne were cool. Last year Lotus was stronger in hot conditions, like Malaysia and Bahrain. 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 14, 2012


This weekend the F1 teams will race on the new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas for the first time. And it could well be the title decider with Sebastian Vettel 10 points ahead of Fernando Alonso and only 50 points left on the table. So what will this race turn on? What is the secret to being competitive at Austin and how will the all-important race strategy play out? The new Circuit of the Americas looks very attractive from a drivers’ and spectators’ point of view. It has a little bit of everything; Mercedes’ simulations suggest the circuit 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 3, 2012


Here’s something you might find interesting. The strategy for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix looks quite finely balanced, with teams forced to decide whether to do two stops or three. And it looks like a weekend where saving a set of new set of soft tyres from qualifying might be worth doing (by doing one run only in Q2 and Q3) Three stops is actually faster, as the graph below shows, but it requires the driver to pass the two stoppers in the final stint. If there is a safety car, it will hand an advantage to the two stoppers. More…

Posted on October 2, 2012


This year’s Japanese Grand Prix will not be the title decider, as it was last year, but instead it will be a crucial race in the hunt for the title which is likely to go down to the last race in Brazil in November. The Suzuka circuit has a special place in the drivers’ hearts, along with Spa Francorchamps, as it provides a great driving challenge with its high speed corners and the first sector of the lap in particular is special, with a series of fast, winding curves through which there is only one really fast line. Race strategy More…

Posted on September 19, 2012


In just three years the Singapore Grand Prix, F1’s only night race, has established itself alongside Monaco as one of the two most important races on the calendar for the sport, the teams and sponsors. But the race on the Marina Bay Circuit is also one of the longest and toughest of the year for cars, drivers and strategists. The race can last up to two hours and with high temperatures, humidity and constant braking and turning, it is a real marathon. And there has been a safety car every year to throw all the best paid plans up in More…

Posted on August 29, 2012


The F1 season resumes this weekend with the classic Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps. It’s the 12th round of the 20 race season and there are lots of talking points in this Strategy Briefing around how this race will be run strategically and who it will favour. Pirelli have made some changes after the controversy last season when their tyres suffered severe blistering on the Red Bull and other cars. The choice of hard and medium compounds and the changes made to the shoulders of the tyres should ensure that the drivers can push to the limit. Spa these 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 17, 2012


Hockenheim alternates as host of the German GP with Nurburgring and the last event in 2010 was famous for Ferrari’s notorious team order, “Fernando is faster than you” to Felipe Massa. This should be an interesting race from a strategic point of view as Pirelli has never raced in F1 at the new Hockenheim and so the teams will be working hard during the practice sessions to figure out the best strategy for the weekend. The temperature will be critical to the outcome. The shorter Hockenheim track was inaugurated in 2002 and is well known to the F1 teams, but 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 19, 2012


This year’s race at Valencia will again hinge on race strategy, as this is a particularly hard track on which to overtake. Last year the top three finishers all used a three stop strategy, with used Soft tyres for the first three stints and new Medium tyres for the final stint. This year with the gap in performance between the two tyre compounds likely to be smaller, we should see more variety than that. And as the trend this year seems to be for one less stop at most of the venues, the decision is likely to be between one 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 June 11, 2012


Fernando Alonso has issued a robust defence of the Ferrari strategists after he lost the win in Canada yesterday and ended up fifth by gambling on a one-stop strategy. The Spaniard led the race on lap 50, when Lewis Hamilton came in for his second stop of the afternoon. As Alonso came around at the end of lap 51, Hamilton’s new soft tyres were still coming up to temperature and Alonso had a 14.8 second lead over him. It was enough, arguably, with Ferrari’s track record this year of very fast pit stops, to chance their arm on a stop More…

Posted on June 5, 2012


Montreal is always one of the most interesting races of the season from a strategy point of view. With a very high likelihood of safety cars, a low grip surface and very easy overtaking, it is always an entertaining race. This year the performance of the unpredicatable Pirelli tyres will be a decisive factor as will the effect of the adjustable DRS wing. Last year in Montreal there were two DRS zones, but this year to make it less easy, there is just one – on the long back straight – and it’s 100 metres shorter than last year. Montreal 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 March 16, 2012


Welcome to the Race Strategy Calculator, brought to you by UBS. This is an exciting new development in our Race Strategy programme, aimed at giving you the fan a closer understanding of how Formula 1 teams calculate the best strategy for a Grand Prix race. Here you will find a step by step guide to the major considerations when planning a race strategy, such as tyre choice and the length of time it takes to make a stop. However the clever part is a sophisticated tyre model, which simulates the Pirelli tyre wear and the resulting drop off in 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 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 23, 2011


With a fairly high likelihood of a safety car and a new tyre choice from Pirelli which brings the two compounds closer together on performance, this should be one of the most interesting races of the season from a strategy point of view. The weather forecast also adds spice to the event with a strong likelihood of showers on Saturday and Sunday. The Brazilian Grand Prix is special for a number of reasons; set in a natural bowl around a lake in a suburb of Sao Paulo, the passionate and noisy crowd can see most of the circuit from their 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 8, 2011


Last season’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix showed how critical Race Strategy is in F1 and how a bad call can cost the World Championship. Following a strategic blunder by the Ferrari team, Fernando Alonso came out of a pit stop behind two slower cars, which he could not then overtake. So this year’s Abu Dhabi race will be the ultimate acid test of the extent to which the DRS wing and Pirelli tyres have improved overtaking opportunities in Formula 1. There are two DRS zones on the circuit and with the long back straight out of the hairpin, overtaking slower More…

Posted on October 25, 2011


This weekend the teams race on the new Buddh International Circuit, located about 50 kilometres south east of New Delhi. The track has similarities in composition of corners to a number of F1 circuits but it has unusual features too. So how will the teams tune the cars in to the circuit and what will the winning race strategy be on Sunday? Here is a comprehensive guide to the considerations the F1 engineers will be looking at when deciding how to attack this weekend’s race. Track characteristics Buddh International – 5.125 kilometres. Race distance – 60 laps = 307.249 kilometres. 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 4, 2011


Pre-event strategy content Suzuka Circuit October 7-9 2011 The Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka is a race at which the Drivers’ World Championship has been clinched on many occasions in the past by greats like Senna, Prost, Schumacher and Hakkinen. And this weekend it is likely to see Sebastian Vettel clinch his second consecutive world title for Red Bull. The Suzuka circuit has a special place in the drivers’ hearts, along with Spa Francorchamps, as it provides a great driving challenge with its high speed corners and the first sector of the lap in particular is special, with a series 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 20, 2011


This weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix will be absolutely fascinating from a strategy point of view. Find out how some teams will try to do the race with only one stop, how much effect the Safety Car can have on the outcome and check out a new feature: the League Table of Team’s Pit Stop Performance; there are some surprises here! Contents – The Key Strategy considerations • Track characteristics • Form guide • Weather forecast • Likely tyre performance • Number and likely timing of pit stops • Chance of a safety car • Recent start performance & Pit Stop 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 September 6, 2011


Italian Grand Prix Monza, September 9-11 2011 The Key Strategy considerations • Track characteristics • Form guide • Weather forecast • Likely tyre performance • Number and likely timing of pit stops • Chance of a safety car • Recent start performance Track characteristics Monza – 5.793 kilometres. Race distance – 53 laps = 306.72 kilometres. 11 corners in total. Average speed 247km/h. Historic race track in a Royal Park. Aerodynamic setup – Low downforce. Top speed 340km/h (with Drag Reduction System active on rear wing) – 334km/h without. Full throttle – 75% of the lap (high). Total fuel needed 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 23, 2011


Track characteristics and key strategy indicators Spa Francorchamps – 7.004 kilometres. Race distance – 44 laps = 308.052 kilometres. 19 corners in total. Average speed 238km/h. Circuit based on public roads. Aerodynamic setup – Med-low downforce. Top speed 322km/h (with Drag Reduction System active on rear wing) – 312km/h without. Full throttle – 80% of the lap (high). Total fuel needed for race distance – 150 kilos (high). Fuel consumption – 3.35kg per lap (high) Time spent braking: 14% of lap. Number of brake zones – 6. Brake wear- Low. Loss time for a Pit stop = 18 seconds (average) 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 June 9, 2011


The analysis of the way the teams are likely to approach this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix shows that qualifying will have little importance and it will be all about running your fastest race, as overtaking is set to be very easy with the double DRS zone. But analysis of the driver’s start performance, a key factor in race strategy, shows that after six races Mark Webber is the worst starter in the field, having dropped 11 places so far. As his margin behind team mate Sebastian Vettel has grown this season, from hundredths of a second to tenths, he can 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 May 5, 2011


The grey overcast skies and light drizzle in the Istanbul paddock make for a lifeless, gloomy sort of atmosphere. Drivers huddle in their rain jackets, stepping over puddles on their way from garage to motorhome. The latest forecast is for it to improve from Saturday, which is a relief. Add in the total lack of crowd or any kind of buzz around the event and F1 seems to be in a sterile bubble this weekend, going about its business behind closed doors. But it still has to put on a show and luckily there is a lot going on in 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 April 11, 2011


There has been an interesting response from fans to the racing we saw yesterday in the Malaysian Grand Prix. Jenson Button, who finished second having started fourth, described the race as “confusing” with 55 pit stops to take in plus countless overtakes to try to evaluate. I said yesterday that it’s a bit like going into a sweet shop and eating half the stock, when you’ve only been used to getting a packet of Polos at best. Many fans consider this to be artificial racing, F1 on steroids in other words and didn’t find it entertaining. Sometimes you can have More…

Posted on April 7, 2011


The second round of the world championship takes place this weekend in Sepang and there will be a lot of learn from the action on track this weekend. Melbourne gave us a partial picture, with Red Bull clearly the fastest car, McLaren in much better shape than in testing and Sauber clearly the most gentle car in its tyres. But the teams are all still on a sharp learning curve when it comes to ways of getting the most from the tyres on race day and maximising the exhaust blown diffusers, now that single diffusers are the order of the 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…

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 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 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…



COUNTDOWN TO NEXT RACE
Strategy Report
Innovation and Technology brought to you by TATA Communications
Senna DVD
Download the Chequered Flag Podcast here
MTS
Darren Heath
Sport Right Now