Rosberg’s slow pit stop played into Schumacher’s hands

2011 Indian GP analysis

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Michael Schumacher benefitted from a slow pit stop for his team mate to take fifth place in the Indian Grand Prix.

The slow hard tyre shaped other strategy decisions, with some drivers losing out after gambling on an early appearance of the safety car.

Here’s all the data from the Indian Grand Prix.

Pit stops

Mercedes were the fastest team in the pits again, turning Michael Schumacher around quickest of all when he came in on lap 18.

But a slow stop for Nico Rosberg on lap 45 helped Schumacher pass his team mate. Rosberg’s last stop was 1.5 seconds slower than Schumacher’s was five laps later. Schumacher was 1.4 seconds ahead of his team mate on the first lap after his pit stop.

However Rosberg also lost time by pitting earlier than Schumacher, running slower laps on the hard tyre while Schumacher gained time on the softs. “My strategy was not perfect today,” Rosberg admitted, “and I lost some time in the second pit stop which meant that I wasn’t able stay ahead of Michael.”

While the mandatory tyre change rules forced all drivers to use the slower hard tyre, several drivers used strategies designed to minimise their hard tyre stints.

Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo and Jarno Trulli all did single-lap stints on the hard tyres. Paul di Resta and Jerome d’Ambrosio did two and the Renault drivers laps three each.

Find all the pit stop strategy data below.

Race progress

Sebastian Vettel was able to pull away from Jenson Button fairly easily when they were on soft tyres.

When they switched to hard tyres for the final stint it was game over as the charts below show. The Red Bull was able to squeeze much more performance out of rubber Pirelli admitted was too hard for the circuit and conditions.

Lap chart

Paul di Resta, Sergio Perez and Vitaly Petrov ran atypical strategies, starting on the hard tyres. They slipped to 18th, 19th and 20th respectively after getting rid of their hard tyres earlier in the race.

The trio would have been in a strong position had the safety car come out early in the race. But despite the collisions at turns one and three the track stayed green and their gamble didn’t pay off.

Di Resta found himself needing an extra pit stop to make it to the end of the race and lost contact with the other two. Perez claimed tenth after Bruno Senna made a late switch to hard tyres.

All lap times

Mark Webber wasn’t able to make his second set of soft tyres last as long as Vettel did. By lap 34 his times started to climb and they didn’t recover.

Pitting early for hard tyres gave Fernando Alonso the chance he needed to claim the final podium position from the Red Bull driver.

2011 Indian Grand Prix

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50 comments on Rosberg’s slow pit stop played into Schumacher’s hands

  1. Alain (@paganbasque) said on 31st October 2011, 11:37

    Michael was reducing the gap from almost 4-5 seconds to less than 2, so in 3-4 more laps he could have overtaken Nico using the DRS, but Nico enter to the pits before as HE DID IN THE FIRST STING, so whats the problem?, Michael pushed hard in the folllowing laps and then he was ahead of Nico. Michael showed his strategic intelligence as he has done thousand of times in his career, in the first sting I thought he hadnt the pace but I was totally wrong, very welll done Michael.

  2. masiullah (@masiullah) said on 31st October 2011, 15:07

    its not identical man, he was losing 0.2 to 0.5 seconds on the last laps before he pitted. That’s not a small margin in the world of formula 1 where every millisecond counts

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