Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Rapid pit stops speed Hamilton to victory

2011 Abu Dhabi GP analysisPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Abu Dhabi, 2011
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Abu Dhabi, 2011

McLaren were the fastest team in the pits for only the second time this year.

Rapid pit work helped Lewis Hamilton on his way to victory in Abu Dhabi.

Pit stops

Hamilton’s two visits to the pits were the fastest of any driver during the race.

In comparison Fernando Alonso lost a total of around three seconds to Hamilton getting in and out of the pits – which proved important when it came to deciding the outcome of their battle for victory.

Most drivers made two pit stops and switched to medium tyres at their final stint. But there were a few significant exceptions.

Mark Webber ran a three-stop strategy to jump ahead of Felipe Massa. His Red Bull’s poor straight-line speed made it difficult to overtake on the straights.

And Paul di Resta made a single stop, running a long first stint on medium tyres before switching to softs halfway through the race.

Race progress

Hamilton’s lead over Alonso grew most rapidly after the pair had switched to medium tyres at the end of the race. As has often been the case this year, the Ferrari wasn’t as quick on the harder tyres.

Lap one position change

What stands out on the lap one chart is Sebastian Vettel’s disastrous slump from first to last – replicating his misfortune at Silverstone last year.

Lap chart

The Sauber pair briefly ran in the last two positions after their early pit stops.

From there they climbed through the field to finish tenth and eleventh.

All lap times

Mark Webber set the fastest lap as he ran on soft tyres until the penultimate lap of the race.

Kamui Kobayashi was fourth-quickest, the Sauber driver doing his final stint on soft tyres.

2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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