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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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…



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