How any of five drivers could have won in Canada and how Ricciardo pulled it off
Strategy Report
Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Jun 2014   |  1:55 pm GMT  |  111 comments

The Canadian Grand Prix was an absolute thriller this year with drama, excitement and strategic tension right to the finish.

Daniel Ricciardo won the race, the first non-Mercedes victory of 2014, but any one of four other drivers could have won – the outcome was decided by strategy, as we will find out in our UBS Race Strategy Report.

Mercedes hit reliability problems with both cars, although Nico Rosberg did an astonishing job of managing his fuel and brakes to nurse the car to the finish.
Pre-race expectations
This race was always going to be touch and go on the fuel consumption, with only 100kg allowed for the race. But the long safety car period early on for the accident involving the Marussia drivers, let everyone off the hook, as they saved fuel for seven laps at low speed.

Simulations showed that there was little to choose between one and two stops in race time although a two stop was preferable if you could run in clear air, as the Mercedes could at the front.

However driving one stop required a more careful approach. This was another factor against Mercedes going that route as they knew that the drivers would be racing each other hard and that would damage the tyres too much to do the race on one stop.

Pirelli were confident that many other teams would stop once. But with temperatures soaring to 50 degrees on track before the start of the race, which takes its toll on the tyres, most teams were geared up to make it a two stop race, the exception being Force India, which had planned all along to do one stop – even before qualifying – and they set the car up specifically in qualifying to make a one-stop race strategy work.

The soft tyre was by far the preferable race tyre and very durable; to do one pit stop, you needed to get to lap 20 at least. For two stops, the pit window for the first stop was around lap 12.

One of the key considerations, however, was that the soft tyre took some time to warm up, at least a lap, so in a close battle that delay in getting up to speed could be decisive.
Red Bull aggressive at the expense of Williams

Daniel Ricciardo was a very popular first time winner, with most rivals rushing to congratulate him on getting his maiden win. Even his team mate Sebastian Vettel was very magnanimous; it was hard on Vettel because he had the chance to win the race, but it didn’t work out for him on strategy.

Vettel started third on the grid and Ricciardo sixth. They stayed in those positions for the opening stint.

Although there were seven laps of safety car, which got many strategists thinking about extending the first stint length, Red Bull were extremely aggressive and pitted Ricciardo on lap 13, more or less when he would have stopped without a safety car. They did this because they knew that they would easily be able to do the rest of the race (57 laps) with two stints on softs and they tried to undercut the Williams cars of Bottas and Massa.

Bottas covered Ricciardo’s stop a lap later and retained position. However his team mate Massa, behind Bottas on the road, was badly compromised by this turn of events. Had he stopped on lap 14 he might have stayed ahead, but as Bottas was the lead Williams car on track, he had the stop priority.

So Massa came in on lap 15 knowing that he’d lost position to Ricciardo, but then to make matters worse he lost 4.5 seconds with a slow stop and also lost positions to Vergne and Alonso.

Without that, he would have been fighting for the win, as he was ahead of Ricciardo in the first stint, remember, and had good pace for the rest of the race, unlike Bottas.

Williams were caught out by Red Bull’s extreme aggression. If they had been similarly bold, from 4th and 5th on the grid and been really aggressive and had really gone for it, they would have pitted Massa on lap 12/13, even though he was not the lead Williams car, knowing that they would be able to cover Ricciardo with Bottas. But the safety car clearly made them think longer term and there is also an anxiety the strategists talk about in being the first to stop. Red Bull had no such qualms and this aggression won Ricciardo the race.
In Williams’ defence it wasn’t clear at that early point that Massa had more pace on the day than Bottas. But by doing this at least they would at least have held Ricciardo behind them and given both drivers a strong platform to challenge for the podium or even better…

Bottas lost pace later on with overheating in the MGU-K part of his hybrid system and slipped to seventh at the flag.

The second stops were decisive in deciding which Red Bull driver would win the race.

After his first stop, Vettel had lost time behind the one-stopping Hulkenberg, who was managing his tyres, but also was hard to pass because of his straight line speed advantage. This brought Vettel back towards Bottas and Ricciardo.

When it got to lap 34/35 and there was still no sign of Hulkenberg taking his stop, Vettel asked for the team to help him “do something on strategy” to get him ahead of the Force India. What happened then was that Red Bull made a mistake, bringing Vettel in on lap 36, because he went back out into traffic on his out-lap.

Vettel’s in-lap to the pits, behind Hulkenberg, was 0.9s slower than Ricciardo when he pitted a lap later and Ricciardo’s stop was a fraction faster, with the result that he cleared the world champion, moving up into position behind the one-stopping Perez.

This was the defining moment of the race, as far as deciding the winner was concerned.

From there on, Hamilton retired, Perez and Rosberg hit reliability issues too and Ricciardo was able to pick them off in the final laps before the flag to win his first Grand Prix.
Force India decides the outcome of the race
Force India always planned to do one stop in this race, even before qualifying and their race affected the outcome of the Grand Prix, as we have seen above, with Hulkenberg holding Vettel back so Ricciardo could catch him.

Force India found on Friday that they had great race pace but didn’t have the single lap pace in Montreal. So before qualifying, they decided to set the car up for the optimum race with less downforce and more understeer. This protects the rear tyres and means that you can run much longer stints at a good pace.

Inevitably this compromised their qualifying performance, with Hulkenberg 11th and Perez 13th, but it gave them a great chance in the race, as it is easy to overtake in Montreal and they had good straight line speed.

Perez is another driver, along with the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers and Felipe Massa, who could have won in Canada. He was all set up to capitalise on Mercedes’ reliability issues; he was perfectly placed behind an ailing Rosberg, following Hamilton’s retirement, and ready to pounce, when he suffered a sensor failure which compromised his brake performance. Without that he would have closed into the DRS zone behind Rosberg and passed him for the win.

Perez had no problems with the tyres and was even able to make his initial set of super soft tyres last 34 laps. With only 36 laps to do on the softs in the second stint he was in good shape, before the brake problems hit. Hulkenberg did more defending, which took more life out of his tyres.

The UBS Race Strategy Report is written by James Allen with input and data from several F1 team strategists, from Pirelli and from JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan.

Race History Graph – kindly supplied by Martini Williams Racing [ click to enlarge image]

Look at how close the two Mercedes are on pace throughout the race until their reliability issues kicked in – and how much faster they were than the rest of the field, once again. It will take a long time until the others close up that performance gap.

Lok at the relative pace of Massa (black line) and Bottas (dotted black line) in the second and third stints; Massa is quite a bit faster as Bottas struggles his car.

Also look at how Hulkenberg (brown line) maintains strong pace at the end of the long first stint on soft tyres. Note the strong second and third stints from Button (solid black line), which set him up for a strong finish, passing four cars at the end, when others hit problems.

Williams Martini Racing

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In my view, Hamilton as a driver has…..average to good luck, if it’s even quantifiable.

I think he went from 2007-2009 with only one mechanical failure, his retirement from Abu Dhabi in 2009? In 2008 he was lucky with Massa’s problems and unlucky with some of his own.

In 2012, he and Button had poor reliability in the context of that season, and some dreadful pit stops. So both McLaren men had “bad luck” that season.

In 2014 he has the great luck of having the most competitive car in the field. Rosberg will (probably) suffer at least 2 DNFs by the season’s end, and if Hamilton has 3, throw in a bit more speed than his team mate, stupid double points, and the person who’s luckiest will probably be the one who wins the finale.

Of course, Hamilton’s also had title capable cars in half of his active seasons as an F1 driver. Also this season, as with everything else, there will be some unanticipated events which could skew the luck in anyone’s favour…..


“In 2014 he has the great luck of having the most competitive car in the field”

That was not luck, that was a result of a very brave career decision and excellent judgement call on HAMs part to leave McLaren for a lower team.


Spot on, James. While watching the race on tv, I thought we might see Hulkenberg’s first win.



I thought so do. James, how come Hulk didn’t have an pace on the super soft tyre?


If we are willing to accept that Force India had a hint of a shot at winning the race why is it that Ferrari couldn’t pursue a similar tactic to FI, or did they deduce that starting behind a dozen mercedes powered cars would be too much of a handicap in the first place.


Because Ferrari do not have the ability to look after the tyres as well as Force India (Or Mercedes or Red Bull for that matter). Despite the engine being underpowerd compared to the Merc it is snappy, causing more wheelspin and sideways movement out of the corners and hence higher tyre degredation.


Has elie explained to us how Kimi has been sabotaged by Ferrari again…..could he have won if he didn’t drive so badly? Also will Santander allow Ferrari to give Kimi the steering wheel foam that he needs to feel at one with the car?….Kimi needs a soft foam and the current foam is way to dense for a guy who has lost his fine touch…..also why can’t Kimi just drive a bit faster than Fernando. James Allison said that too……


Ok, didn’t know there where other drivers than perez who compromised Vettels outlap.

If the cold primes where still slower than the used tires of Ricciardos car, it was realy a stupid moment to box.


It wouldn’t have been any better a few laps later as Hulkenberg was staying out.


Great post.


Presumably x is laps, and y is related to lap time?


First of all congratulations to James Allen for these very clarifying reports.

Reading them makes me think about how much of the racing is done nowadays by people other than the pilots. That is, strategy relies mostly on the “back office” rather than in the pilots mind in the heat of the moment.

I think that is hindering the racing to a big extent and that the sport should be pursuing ways to let the pilots being “on their own” as much as posible, maybe by limiting the two way radio.

The perfect example is Vettel asking for “help” strategy wise: how much better would this race had been if all of the pilots were obliged to make the strategy calls without any exterior help.

By the way, I think that the one an only”Honey Badger” of the moment is Nick Cummins (operating from Perth, by the way).


So you’d rather a driver relies on blind luck? Because that is what would happen if he doesn’t know where a pit stop will put him in relation to other cars. F1 is a team sport, unless you are going to ask them to change all the tyres too?

kenneth chapman

if as you say, mercedes run their cars at less than 100% then they may, just may, encourage the ‘others’ to ‘boldly go where no others have gone’. it all depends i guess on the likely superiority of the merc when we see what they are capable of in FP/quali3.

the red bull ring is short and with only seven corners it should be a mercedes doddle as the merc has great cornering qualities as well as outright grunt. it is pretty much an all round car.

once more the merc engined cars will have an advantage over the others but maybe red bull can pull something off althgough i wouldn’t be putting the ‘sheep station’ on it.


I am wondering what Hamilton is going to do and what Merc is thinking about him. He had 2 DNFs, not his fault. He is faster than Rosberg. One thing I would hate to see this year is to see a better drive lose title due to reliability. But you also need luck on your side and you need to make the most of it, just like Rosberg did in Canada. He qualified ahead of Hamilton, managed to stay ahead going into turn 1 and then….managed to nurse the car home on a 2nd position. Not bad, he won plenty of points which will keep him ahead of Hamilton.

Now….Hamilton needs to win 4 races with Rosberg coming 2nd to be ahead in points and hope he is not going to get another DNF.

But….that is another story. As a Ferrari fan…it is painful to see how deep is the crisis that Ferrari is going through with no signs of improvement for next year.

James, I wanted to let you know that with this new release of your blog I no longer get eMail notifications when people comment on my post.


Hamilton certainly has been unlucky, and has driven in the form worthy of a Championship (4 wins on the trot, etc). I also think Rosberg has been driving in a Championship worthy form too, so if he does win it I won’t judge him as being unworthy. Luck is always a factor in sport. Rosberg will likely have his DNFs. But back in 2008 it can be viewed Massa was unlucky to have not been Champion with things like Hungary, Singapore and Hamilton’s last corner fortune in Brazil. Of course Hamilton had his own issues, such as Spa. But luck always plays a part in these things; each driver can list a load of “If onlys” at the end of a year.


James really happy for Dan even if he had a couple of things go his way he still had to be there, and it seems fitting an Aussie won this week when the great SIR JACK was put to rest today.


All season Ricciardo has looked like the guy who was going to pick up the pieces when the Mercs cracked.

Whether it be through car problems or driver problems Merc were probably going to come unstuck eventually and Dan seems to have a knack for putting himself in the right place at the right time.

When the Mercedes both started having problems I thought Massa was going to capitalise.

Poor Dan looked totally gobsmacked at his first win….imagine if he’d won Monaco…he’d have to be rushed to hospital.


How did Nico keep the others behind with 160hp down, that I’m amazed. RIC must have been very appreciative for his victory but he too drove a cool and calculated race. RIC sure feels like WDC material sooner or later. Pity the attention of Filipe and Perez has been the main focus at the moment.

Another important finish was Button, where did that come from as he finished fourth and there were no footage of his overtake? Guess the last few laps had too sensational hence the tv director couldn’t focus but I won’t blame him at all. Not an easy task though.

The race was truly dramatic with so much to digest, gotta watch it again. Was caught up watching the Filipe and Perez incident over and over again. My opinion, Massa jinked to the right too suddenly.

Whatever, both of them are fine. Was thinking if Massa did pass Perez, but he overcooked it and would his nose be directed at Vettel sidepod causing a highly serious accident not in favor of Vettel. But Vettel was smart and did braked a little just enough as Massa shot across like a bullet.


How did Nico keep the others behind with 160hp down


Because Perez had shot bakes, meaning he lost ground on every corner and couldnt get within DRS range. He wouldn’t have held off anyone else.


Nice analysis… I think also that something else has been learned by the Canadian GP.. The Mercs have an Achilles heal… the heat and their rear brakes.


Possibly. but that is unlikely to be a big problem at any of the remaining races as the hotter ones are not as hard on the brakes.


noone is talking about Ferrari. Hope they will come back


Because they have done nothing noteworthy


What an exciting race. I am so happy that a non Mercedes car won the race. The season was getting very boring, if Mercedes won all races and 1 – 2s as well. Congrats to Dan on a great win, you have to be there to win it as we know.

I maybe now just realising that Hamilton is an all or nothing driver and can’t nurse his car home if he gets a problem, not referring to the tear in his eye at Monaco. Are there any examples of when he nursed a car home? I can’t recall one such instance.

Great report James and team, always love the technical analysis.


It would be hard to nurse a car home in the first race. This time around perhaps but it’s a risk/reward thing, one of them was going to fail, the only reason Rosberg survived after that was he didnt need to race anyone.


All in all I think that Vettel is a very very good number 2. He certainly was an effective rear gunner for Daniel and if RBR can close the gap, I can see he will be a great support to Dan in his title quest next season!!


Dont jump your guns too early. Dan has just won a race whereas Vettel is a 4 time world champ. Dan has long way to go before he can sit at big boys table


It seems probable that Mercedes only encountered problems in Canada because they allowed their drivers to race one another and push their cars to the limit. In Austria they will most likely employ strict team orders and run their cars at a good deal less than 100%.


Nope. Based on the timing of the problem and the news that it was overheating and not wear they would have failed anyway (possibly a lap or two later at best). The only thing you could say is maybe hamilton’s breaks would have survived had they flown formation after that.


If Lewis loses the championship because of this result, then he has no-one to blame but himself. What was he thinking, pushing the car so hard when he knew he had big problems???

I like Lewis, but he should have never commenced playing mind games. Apparently Nico is mentally stronger.


@ Gaz Boy

I too was wondering about that m8 for top athletes are usually decisive figures so it will be interesting to see if the honey badger can achieve more success from here on out.

As for Mr. Vettel, it was encouraging to see he hadn’t lost his good luck completely for it doesn’t get much better than that.

Meanwhile, have you noticed good ol’ Maldonado has stayed out of trouble for sometime now. It would appear the penalties do work after all.


Yeah, I’ve noticed a certain South American has been quiet recently………….ah well, everything happens for a reason!

The more I watch the last lap accident, the more I flinch. Tell you what, good old Seb’s guardian angel was watching over him in Canada; he may not have won the race, but at least he’s in one piece – a couple of feet and that wouldn’t have been the case…………..


He raced only 21 laps. So he avoids penalty. Just imagine what would have happened if he was still there at lap 70. I am sure there would be no two safety cars on track 😉


Did Maldonado not retire less than a third of the way into the race? And he retired before he even started in Monaco. It’s not hard to stay out of trouble when you’re not even on the track.


@ Yak

Lol… Poor Maldonado.


Just a simple question from someone who has followed F1 for..maybe too many years….did the convenience of Merc problems crossed anybody’s mind? Last the most favorable circuit, suddenly both Mercs have issues one lap apart…as if some strange software code had planned that. … I try to avoid conspiracy theories, but when money drives a sport, TV audience is key and same as Adrian, I’m getting a little bored of F1 lack of development and rigid rules for one full year. I was always attracted by technical innovation and development…this year the Championship is driven by the engine..where there is no chance to improve but for some small changes thanks to rules and regulations. I really hope this is not becoming another TV entertainment program. perhaps they can go back to a full hour of open qualifying time and we cna have some fun on Saturdays.


No, they failed because both cars performed very very similarly. No software involved.


Williams suffered from Merc PU problems in Monaco too, so it’s not like they’re indestructible. And it’s not hard to consider that two of the same car running in the same conditions might encounter the same unforeseen problem. Maybe the control gear mounted where ever it is, with the car in whatever aero and cooling configuration they were running for Canada, overheated and failed. Or maybe they just changed something about the layout that clearly didn’t work as predicted. Or maybe it’s been exactly the same all the way through the season, but Canada being quite a unique circuit was the first to uncover a problem. The only other circuit on the calendar that’s basically a series of straights connected by chicanes is Monza, and obviously they’ve not been there yet.


Well I must say, I thought it was going to be a HAM Slam before the weekend (given his record at the circuit), and was baffled when Rosberg came out on top in qualifying. Lewis was a little quicker in the race though, still with superior fuel consumption, and once past was going to take a comfortable win, except his car failed.

After that, 10 laps from the end, I saw Massa coming through to take victory for the first time in…6 years! Mercedes power to get past the Red Bulls, clear the hold up of Perez, then get past the hobbled Mercedes. It seemed a little strange when Massa couldn’t get past Vettel. Was there a problem with his DRS? That ended, Ricciardo took his chances, and well….I told a colleague if he wanted a 50/50 bet, should keep his money off the lottery and put it on a Mercedes victory.

An interesting race, except I find it hard to be thrilled when the engines are quiet, and the cars still can’t follow each other properly since 1998. The last 15 laps were good though, as it could have been won by Rosberg, Perez, Massa, Ricciardo, and unlikely Vettel. Hamilton has now won this race 3 times, and failed to finish in 2008, 2011, and 2014.

The next race is Austria is a “new” race. Without checking, only Button and Alonso have raced there before? Vettel tested a Ferrari recently at the circuit. Some drivers perform better at new venues, so am looking forward to it.


So what you’re saying is that Lewis is a lock to win in Canada next year? 🙂 He always wins the next Canadian GP after a DNF. Although it used to be that he would “win it or bin it” … that went out the window in 2013.


Vettel tested a Ferrari there??? What, what, what? Do you have a source?


Ok, not really a test. Drove the Ferrari F1/87/88C while Berger got the RB8.


There are multiple pics of the event. He drove one of Berger’s old cars 🙂


Ha,ha. Calm down mate. It was a Ferrari that Berger once drove. A real race car with a gear stick.


For pete’s sake, he was just driving Gerhard Bergers old Ferrari for a promotional activity


It was Gerhard Berger’s 1988 Ferrari, not any recent ones. Berger also drove the RB8.

It was done for a short promotional video I believe:


Kimi’s raced in Austria too.


Yes, you’re right. Forgot about Raikkonen. Proper F1 driver est. 2001.


Great strategy report James! 😀

Well done Riccy! The boy just keeps on schooling the supposed ‘greatest ever driver’ again and again. I wonder where is Tealeaf, Equin0x and the rest of the Vet fanboys now? Probably still licking their wounds…haha..Red Bull now see that Ric is their best hope, and as he 99% of the time extracts the maximum from the machinery (Vet: ‘He gets more out of the car than I do’ after China GP), Red Bull have now installed him as the de facto no. 1 driver in the team. I predict Ric to be a future champion and get better and better, probably forcing Vettel into eventual involuntary retirement. Sweet 😀


Do we know why the Mercedes both failed so similarly? (Or were the failures actually different?) They were so simultaneous that it tempts me to wonder if there was a common software error. It seems to me that here would have been more randomness if it were purely mechanical.


I speculated that the problems Mercedes experienced with the ERS were due to the extreme heat in Montreal (Coulthard also suggested this may have been the cause as well). Mercedes may have gone aggressive on straight line speed and compromised on cooling – the opposite of what Ferrari did – and caused the ERS to over heat.

If James does not mind here is a link to a technical explanation of the Mercedes ERS issue –


The team said the failure happened when components overheated during the pitstop so it does sound like Mercedes were cutting things fine in terms of cooling at this race.

I’m sure they’ll do something about it which is a pity in some ways because it certainly spiced up the race for the rest of us 🙂


Did Perez DRS worked ? It seemed he was in the 1 second zone behind rosberg at times but never opened his DRS ?


Perez was losing out to rosberg in sector 1 and 2 and at the DRS detection zone before turn 10 he was generally about 1.2 to 1.3 seconds behind. He was gaining about 0.7 sec on the long straight as rosberg lost his MGU-K so if he had got in DRS range then he would have flown past as ricciardo did.


While the race had a strong strategic component, it is too much of a pro-F1-marketing-exercise to say that it’s ‘outcome was decided by strategy’. Truth is that it was decided 1. by reliability (i.e. Mercedes lack of it!) and 2. by Massa’s ineptitude.

But these days truth will not do much for F1…


You don’t think Ricciardo winning rather than Vettel was about strategy?


The strategy helped Daniel, but it should have favoured Vettel.

Quite rightly Vettel was allowed to make his second stop before Dan, because he was ahead on the road. Race fans don’t mind this kind of favouritism, as long as it is fair and applied consistently.

Where Red Bull has upset fans in the past, was by making strategy calls that disadvantaged Webber, while in race-winning positions in both Malaysia & Japan last year.

Daniel has been able to turn the tables on Seb, by displaying the type of skills that Webber was accused of lacking at that time.

He was able to overtake at crucial times in the race, when Vettel couldn’t … and he laid a scintillating in-lap that left Christian Horner shaking his head in disbelief.

Isn’t it ironic?

P.S. I still say that Dan has the demeanour of a young Mick Doohan.


I don’t know if I totally agree about Dan having the demeanour of a young Mick Doohan. Mick let his arrogance show through a bit more than what Daniel does and was more critical of his opponents. This is only my personal opinion though!


I do think the strategy was about pitting Daniel early on lap 13 to get him ahead of the Williams’. I don’t believe it was ever Red Bull’s intention to allow Dan to win at Vettel’s expense!!!

Clearly, Horner et al were gob-smacked by Dan’s remarkable victory, but extremely pleased nonetheless.

The strategy SHOULD have worked in Seb’s favour. But Dan was able to turn the race on it’s ear by leap-frogging VET at the second pit stop and then timing his attacks on PER and ROS to perfection.

The victory was pure opportunism. It was about Dan taking his chances and making them work for him.

kenneth chapman

@ rachael…. yes, you are right. it was about racing. there is no way that RB would compromise vettel winning but he is being outraced when push comes to shove and he doesn’t like it. that is understandable but ricciardo is no patsy.

i love opportunism and the old ‘carpe diem’ motto. that is the difference beween winners and losers. i still feel as vettel will get on top of it all soon and then we will see some spirited challenges. so far ricciardo is in front so he should be getting the call more often than not. whether red bull will let that happen is a moot point. going on their past performances i should think that vettel will be getting the rub.

kenneth chapman

@ james… not necessarily. i’m pretty sure that no one on the pit wall had factored in just how fast ricciado’s in-lap would be. that was the one deciding factor that kicked off the ensuing run of events enabling ricciardo to be in contention.

vettel was in place on many occasions where he could’ve launched an attempt to pass but he didn’t., for what ever reason. ricciardo then took every opportunity he had including his rather gutsy pass on perez. if you listen to the brundle post race interview it was, by ricciardo’s own admission a rather calculated but somewhat dangerous move that he was able to make it stick. he even went onto the grass? he held it, for a prelude to chasing down a wounded merc. great driving and he made it on merit.


It was partly strategy James as it could have easily gone Vettel’s way. Though I do find that you don’t seem to give credit to Ricciardo on seizing his opportunity when he did, something other drivers did not do.

– Ricciardo still had to put in a great in lap regardless of whether Vettel was stuck in traffic

– Their pit stops were within 0.2 of a second of each other so there was no favouritism there when it fact Vettel was pitted first for the undercut to cover off Bottas so Vettel still got the better strategy

– Had Vettel stayed out, he would have lost of both Bottas and Ricciardo as RB did not know how long Hulkenburg was going to be out for

– Ricciardo made the move stick on Perez, something Vettel couldn’t do when he was behind Hulk

So no I don’t think it was entirely strategy and Ricciardo made the most of it. He fully deserved he win and he didn’t win it based on strategy alone. I don’t believe the article gives Daniel enough credit where it is due.


@gp back to adelaide:

Vettel didn’t try to get attack to Ricciardo. He tried to conserve tires.

He closed the gap after he came under pressure by Massa.

But no possibility to attack, because Ricciardo had DRS on the straights.


Ricciardo made the move on Perez stick because Perez ran into an electrical issue which he was trying to sort out by doing a reset. Not because of superior driving skills. Whereas Vettel didn’t have such luck when he was hounding Hulkenburg.

Second, Ricciardo managed a better in-lap because of the space created behing Hulkenburg when Vettel pitted. Vettel’s in-lap was limited by Hulkenberg’s pace. In my opinion, Vettel made a mistake by not dropping back a little bit to create space before his in-lap.

Third, Vettel’s out-lap was compromised because the soft tires took 1 lap to get upto temprature.

So all in all, the article gives the right amount of credit.

GP Back To Adelaide

Completely agree with this.

The RBR’s were in formation for most of that last stint. Vettel struggled to get close enough at any point…except…there was one occasion where Ricciardo ran too deep into turn 8 at around lap 60 or so. This compromised his exit and run to the hairpin and provided Vettel a prime opportunity to close up and attempt a pass. What happened next was the difference between the 2 drivers on the day…Seb overshot the hairpin slightly, fluffed his overtaking opportunity completely and, as a result of his mistake, had to defend off Massa down the straight. Compare with RIC’s sublime overtake on Perez.

For what it’s worth, RIC had been climbing all over the back of Perez’s Force India on several occasions at the exit of the final turn. Why they decided to “do a reset” there and then is beyond me.

I also recall that when Vettel left the pits after his second stop that the gap between him and Perez appeared 1 second (about 1.2 IIRC), allowing Ricciardo to slot right in between them. I understand that the softs take time to wear in, but he should have been able to close up to Perez (who was on older rubber) over the course of that lap.


Why was Vettel told via radio that Daniel would eventually destroy his tires? The implication was that Vettel should hold station until Daniel’s tires fell off. I find it difficult to believe that Red Bull made such a gross miscalculation in refernce to Daniel’s tires. Had Seb attacked earlier a 1, 2 may have been possible, no?


Vettel and ricciardo fighting for position would not have allowed them to get past perez any quicker. if at all


You are right on that. But Mercedes not making it a one-two was about reliability. After having won everything up until Canada, that’s the headline.

Certainly it was strategy that defined what other contenders jumped in and indeed it was an extremely interesting race from that point of view. But while both Mercedes were in contention, any try to win through strategy was a joke.

However, great analysis (as always) which actually is what your post is about! And thank you always for providing insight to understand better the sport.

It’s just that provocative criticism makes fun


Can you explain why Ricciardo did overtake Vettel?

Vettels inlap can’t be the reason. Because at this moment Vettel was still in front of Ricciardo.

To find the difference we probably have to compare Vettels outlap with Ricciardos inlap?

Was the traffic realy the problem in Vettels outlap? Ricciardo came out between Vettel and Perez. Therefore i conclude that Perez wasn’t the reason for Vettel to be to slow in his outlap.


I posted this the other day, but in summary…

Vettel was right up behind Hulkenburg, behind him was Bottas, then Ricciardo. Bottas pits. This gave DR ~2s to his team mate, which he caught as the Hulkenburg car was slow (but not in a straight line). Then Vettel pits, again giving DR some more free air just as he caught the rear of his team mates car. Vettels out lap was compromised by one of the Saubers and Kimi (IIRC). Ricciardo only just caught Hulk as he pitted – perfect timing for Dan, as he didn’t lose any time sitting behind those cars.

So, Vettels in lap – sat behind Hulk.

Ricciardos in lap – not sat behind anyone.

That’s basically what won Ricciardo the race. If Bottas had stayed in front of him even a lap longer Vettel would have won the race rather than Ricciardo. It wasn’t so much of what the Red Bull drivers did or didn’t do that dictated the race result, rather what the Force India/Williams drivers did who neither could pass until they had car trouble or pitted.


Generally the undercut did not work as it was hard to get heat into the tyres after the stops. Vettel’s pace on his inlap dictated by hulkenburg so he was not that quick but him pitting gave Ricciardo a slight gap in front so he was able to put in a quick lap so it is understandable that ricciardo’s inlap would be a second quicker than vettel’s. Added to the fact that vettel would be on his outlap on a cold set of primes explains why this was possible. This is also how Alonso passed Vergne in the first stint


“Ricciardo came out between Vettel and Perez. Therefore i conclude that Perez wasn’t the reason for Vettel to be to slow in his outlap.”

Vettel wasn’t slow in his outlap.

Ricciardo was able to overtake Vettel because his inlap was faster than Vettel’s – 79.41 seconds vs 80.36 seconds. And his inlap was faster due to luck. First Vettel pitted, opening up space ahead of RIC, then Hulkenberg, who had been going slowly with Vettel behind him, suddenly sped up by half a second a lap, allowing Ricciardo to speed up as well.. The lap prior to Vettel pitting Hulk lapped in 80.67 secs, the lap prior to RIC pitting Hulk lapped in 80.12 seconds. That, plus his slower pitstop, is what put Vettel behind Ricciardo.


Seb wanted the pitstop though. Shame how it worked out for him.


No, when Vettel did his inlap he was in front of Ricciardo. Even if Vettels inlap would ve been 2 sec. slower than Ricciardos thats not the reason Ricciardo was able to overtook him.

Because at the end of his inlap Vettel was still in front of Ricciardo.


What did you not understand from the explanation given above, and what alternative can you offer?


Takes time to warm up the soft tyres.Maybe that also could be the reason for slower outlap.

Also the report says Ricciardo’s in lap was .9 s faster than Vettel’s. This could be because Vettel used up his tyres more than Ricciardo, chasing Hulkenberg.

All in all,Vettel lost it on strategy. The team should have done better

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