Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Barcelona, 2012

2012 Spanish Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2012 Spanish Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton ran a 31-lap stint at the end of the race and still had enough tyre life to attack Nico Rosberg for seventh.

Spanish Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3 Stint 4 Stint 5
Pastor Maldonado Soft (11) Hard (13) Hard (17) Hard (25)
Fernando Alonso Soft (10) Hard (16) Hard (18) Hard (22)
Romain Grosjean Soft (10) Soft (16) Hard (25) Hard (15)
Kimi Raikkonen Soft (11) Soft (16) Hard (21) Hard (18)
Sergio Perez Soft (1) Hard (16) Hard (20) Hard (0)
Nico Rosberg Soft (9) Soft (13) Hard (18) Hard (26)
Sebastian Vettel Soft (7) Hard (20) Hard (15) Soft (24)
Michael Schumacher Soft (10) Soft (2)
Kamui Kobayashi Soft (8) Hard (18) Hard (15) Hard (25)
Jenson Button Soft (9) Hard (16) Soft (13) Hard (28)
Mark Webber Soft (6) Hard (11) Hard (23) Hard (25)
Paul di Resta Soft (9) Soft (14) Hard (19) Hard (23)
Nico Hulkenberg Soft (10) Soft (9) Hard (20) Hard (26)
Jean-Eric Vergne Soft (10) Hard (13) Soft (17) Hard (25)
Daniel Ricciardo Soft (11) Hard (14) Soft (14) Hard (26)
Felipe Massa Soft (10) Hard (19) Hard (16) Hard (20)
Bruno Senna Soft (12)
Vitaly Petrov Soft (10) Hard (18) Soft (16) Hard (21)
Heikki Kovalainen Soft (13) Soft (14) Soft (16) Hard (22)
Charles Pic Soft (15) Soft (12) Hard (8)
Timo Glock Soft (14) Soft (12) Hard (21) Hard (17)
Pedro de la Rosa Soft (10) Soft (9) Hard (16) Hard (16) Soft (12)
Narain Karthikeyan Soft (11) Soft (11) Hard (0)
Lewis Hamilton Soft (14) Hard (21) Hard (31)

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Barcelona, 2012Lewis Hamilton’s progress from 24th to eighth by the end of the race was aided by him making good progress through the midfield in the opening laps.

He gained four places on the first lap but continued to gain places in the laps that followed. This was vital, as it meant those who pitted early came out of the pits behind him, allowing him to delay his first pit stop until lap 14 – later than everyone bar Charles Pic.

From there McLaren put him on a two-stop strategy. It left him needing to complete the final 31 laps on one set of tyres – which he managed, making him the only driver to finish the race using a two-stop strategy.

He was pleased with his effort: “People often say that I have an aggressive driving style, but my final stint on the [hard] tyre was 31 laps, so I reckon I proved today that I can make tyres last.”

It also allowed him to finish in front of his team mate, who had started 14 places further up the grid. Jenson Button seldom looked comfortable in the car all weekend, and tended to lose more time when following another car closely.

Spanish Grand Prix pit stop times

For the third time in five races Ferrari were the quickest team in the pits. All three of Fernando Alonso’s pit stops were faster than Pastor Maldonado’s.

The Williams driver lost four seconds in the pits compared to his rival. This could have been decisive – Maldonado’s winning margin was less than that.

McLaren’s recent track record with pit stops certainly gives Hamilton an incentive to use strategies which require as few visits to the pits as possible. Not everything went according to plan again today – he lost around two-and-a-half seconds when he clipped a wheel leaving the pits after his first pit stop.

Here’s how long each driver’s pit stops took:

Driver Team Pit stop time Gap On lap
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 19.456 10
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 19.624 0.168 27
3 Felipe Massa Ferrari 19.699 0.243 29
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 19.745 0.289 7
5 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 19.777 0.321 11
6 Paul di Resta Force India 19.867 0.411 42
7 Jenson Button McLaren 19.888 0.432 38
8 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 19.980 0.524 35
9 Paul di Resta Force India 19.987 0.531 9
10 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 20.028 0.572 26
11 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 20.059 0.603 22
12 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 20.059 0.603 39
13 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 20.073 0.617 48
14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 20.105 0.649 44
15 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 20.113 0.657 10
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 20.114 0.658 25
17 Mark Webber Red Bull 20.119 0.663 6
18 Mark Webber Red Bull 20.129 0.673 40
19 Felipe Massa Ferrari 20.130 0.674 10
20 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 20.197 0.741 40
21 Pastor Maldonado Williams 20.218 0.762 24
22 Romain Grosjean Lotus 20.223 0.767 10
23 Jenson Button McLaren 20.333 0.877 9
24 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 20.381 0.925 26
25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 20.388 0.932 10
26 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 20.460 1.004 40
27 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 20.502 1.046 9
28 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 20.515 1.059 39
29 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 20.521 1.065 10
30 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 20.558 1.102 19
31 Pastor Maldonado Williams 20.620 1.164 11
32 Timo Glock Marussia 20.669 1.213 47
33 Timo Glock Marussia 20.902 1.446 26
34 Charles Pic Marussia 20.936 1.480 15
35 Romain Grosjean Lotus 21.035 1.579 51
36 Sergio Perez Sauber 21.055 1.599 17
37 Jenson Button McLaren 21.061 1.605 25
38 Timo Glock Marussia 21.082 1.626 14
39 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 21.101 1.645 11
40 Romain Grosjean Lotus 21.215 1.759 26
41 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 21.275 1.819 43
42 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 21.290 1.834 13
43 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 21.301 1.845 27
44 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 21.311 1.855 41
45 Charles Pic Marussia 21.338 1.882 27
46 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 21.471 2.015 51
47 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 21.518 2.062 11
48 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 21.543 2.087 35
49 Paul di Resta Force India 21.680 2.224 23
50 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 21.817 2.361 44
51 Sergio Perez Sauber 21.864 2.408 1
52 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 21.963 2.507 14
53 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 22.135 2.679 19
54 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 22.260 2.804 8
55 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 22.275 2.819 10
56 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 22.515 3.059 22
57 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 22.566 3.110 27
58 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 22.645 3.189 23
59 Felipe Massa Ferrari 22.645 3.189 45
60 Pastor Maldonado Williams 22.829 3.373 41
61 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 23.072 3.616 28
62 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 24.856 5.400 10
63 Mark Webber Red Bull 24.864 5.408 17
64 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 26.143 6.687 42
65 Sergio Perez Sauber 28.531 9.075 37

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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