Posted on March 24, 2014


The Malaysian Grand Prix is the second round of the 2014 FIA F1 World Championship and – from a reliability point of view – far more of a challenge for the teams than Melbourne. The intense heat and humidity will stretch the cars’ cooling systems to the limit. With the new hybrid turbo power units and the powerful batteries in the Energy Recovery System, cooling is critical this year. We may see several teams being forced to open the bodywork to improve cooling, which will hurt their aerodynamic performance and in some cases the stability of the cars in the 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 October 22, 2013


Pre-event strategy content: Buddh International Circuit, October 25-27 Although the new Buddh International Circuit, just outside Delhi has proved popular with drivers in its two seasons on the calendar, the event will not take place next year and its place on the calendar from 2015 onwards is in doubt for financial and administrative reasons. This is a shame, as it is a great circuit for F1 cars with a challenging mixture of fast corners and slower technical corners, which really shows a good car from a bad one. Strategy wise last year was a bit flat as the tyre choice More…

Posted on October 2, 2013


The Korean Grand Prix is working to establish itself in the F1 calendar and win a place in the hearts of the participants, but it is an uphill struggle. However the circuit does tend to provide quite a good race and there are important decisions to be made on car set up and strategy which can affect the outcome. This year with a big step between tyre compounds, it should make the race more interesting, as Singapore was. With Sebastian Vettel 60 points clear of Fernando Alonso in the championship and with a car which is now fully optimised, the 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 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 June 4, 2013


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 and hard to predict. Red Bull leads both championships at the moment, but has never won in Montreal. McLaren has ruled for the last three years but has an uncompetitive car this year. And will this be the race where three-times winner Lewis Hamilton gets the upper hand over his resurgent team mate Nico Rosberg? After the extreme of Monaco, More…

Posted on May 20, 2013


The last few Grands Prix have been decided by race strategy; good planning and execution. And Monaco looks set to be the same. Mercedes has taken three poles in a row, but lost out on race day. Will Monaco offer them a chance to hold on and win the race? If the race is a marginal one or two stop race, will Lotus and Ferrari be able to play a strategic game to get the win? Ferrari hasn’t won Monaco for 12 years. From a strategy point of view the Monaco Grand Prix is a very tricky race as cars More…

Posted on May 7, 2013


The Formula 1 engineers have a love/hate relationship with Circuit de Catalunya; it is the track they know the best from the pre-season testing that has been held there for many years, but it is an enigmatic circuit, always changing with temperature and wind conditions. A car, which flies in the morning, can be uncompetitive in the afternoon, without anything being changed on the car itself. As the first European race of the season it is also a track where teams bring their first major technical update package to the car, which will have taken 10-12 weeks of wind tunnel 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 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…



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