2012 British GP tyre strategies and pit stops

2012 British Grand Prix

McLaren were the quickest team in the pits for the second race in a row.

British Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3
Fernando Alonso Hard (15) Hard (22) Soft (15)
Mark Webber Soft (14) Hard (19) Hard (19)
Michael Schumacher Soft (12) Hard (22) Hard (18)
Sebastian Vettel Soft (10) Hard (21) Hard (21)
Felipe Massa Soft (13) Hard (22) Hard (17)
Kimi Raikkonen Soft (13) Hard (21) Hard (18)
Pastor Maldonado Soft (11) Hard (1) Hard (39)
Lewis Hamilton Hard (21) Soft (7) Hard (24)
Romain Grosjean Soft (2) Hard (24) Hard (26)
Paul di Resta Soft (1) Hard (0)
Nico Rosberg Hard (15) Hard (22) Soft (15)
Daniel Ricciardo Hard (16) Soft (13) Hard (23)
Bruno Senna Soft (14) Hard (16) Hard (22)
Nico Hulkenberg Hard (16) Hard (19) Soft (17)
Sergio Perez Soft (11) Hard (0)
Jenson Button Hard (16) Soft (15) Hard (21)
Kamui Kobayashi Hard (16) Hard (21) Soft (15)
Vitaly Petrov
Heikki Kovalainen Soft (12) Hard (17) Hard (22)
Timo Glock Hard (18) Hard (20) Soft (13)
Pedro de la Rosa Hard (27) Soft (23)
Narain Karthikeyan Hard (16) Hard (19) Soft (15)
Jean-Eric Vergne Soft (14) Hard (18) Hard (20)
Charles Pic Soft (13) Hard (19) Hard (19)

Two-stoppers were the order of the day for almost everyone. The major difference was when they chose to run the soft tyre, and how long for.

Ferrari had little choice on when to begin Alonso’s final stint which had to be on the soft tyres. With Webber having pitted four laps earlier and closing on the Ferrari they had to make their move or risk coming out behind the Red Bull.

The only driver not to do a two-stopper was Pedro de la Rosa. He explained: “We had to gamble a bit with the strategy and try something different because, in our position, if you do the same as everyone else you won?t advance.

“We risked it to one stop to see if we could beat Marussia. But it wasn?t to be, although we weren?t far off.”

British Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

Driver Team Pit stop time Gap On lap
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 24.498 21
2 Jenson Button McLaren 24.762 0.264 31
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 24.998 0.500 37
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 25.003 0.505 28
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 25.110 0.612 35
6 Jenson Button McLaren 25.138 0.640 16
7 Mark Webber Red Bull 25.179 0.681 33
8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 25.189 0.691 15
9 Sergio Perez Sauber 25.192 0.694 11
10 Timo Glock Marussia 25.241 0.743 38
11 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 25.319 0.821 31
12 Felipe Massa Ferrari 25.325 0.827 13
13 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 25.372 0.874 15
14 Romain Grosjean Lotus 25.388 0.890 26
15 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 25.444 0.946 35
16 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 25.552 1.054 34
17 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 25.581 1.083 13
18 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 25.613 1.115 29
19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 25.626 1.128 16
20 Pastor Maldonado Williams 25.630 1.132 11
21 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 25.829 1.331 10
22 Mark Webber Red Bull 25.854 1.356 14
23 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 25.871 1.373 34
24 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 25.938 1.440 12
25 Bruno Senna Williams 25.983 1.485 14
26 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 26.060 1.562 16
27 Charles Pic Marussia 26.164 1.666 32
28 Timo Glock Marussia 26.165 1.667 18
29 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 26.196 1.698 12
30 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 26.200 1.702 32
31 Charles Pic Marussia 26.313 1.815 13
32 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 26.434 1.936 29
33 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 26.489 1.991 14
34 Bruno Senna Williams 26.573 2.075 30
35 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 26.845 2.347 16
36 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 27.715 3.217 27
37 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 27.944 3.446 35
38 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 29.908 5.410 16
39 Paul di Resta Force India 32.790 8.292 1
40 Pastor Maldonado Williams 33.068 8.570 12
41 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 33.529 9.031 37
42 Romain Grosjean Lotus 34.201 9.703 2
43 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 39.208 14.710 37

Jenson Button, McLaren, Silverstone, 2012Remember earlier in the season when McLaren had a fast car but kept messing up their pit stops?

Now they have great pit stops and a slow car. For the second race running they had the fastest complete pit stop time.

It was a poor race for Mercedes, both cars finishing below where they qualified. A slow pit stop was among the lesser of Nico Rosberg‘s problems: “In the race today, I had a poor start and generally we just didn’t have the pace.

“Then a slow second pit stop held me up towards the end; so all in all, it really didn’t come together. Now we need to work hard to improve the car for our next home race at Hockenheim in two weeks time.”

2012 British Grand Prix

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Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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14 comments on 2012 British GP tyre strategies and pit stops

  1. Calum (@calum) said on 9th July 2012, 0:11

    The pitstop speed data shows practice makes perfect! Well done Sam Michael (I beleive it’s him in charge of pit lane operations) and the rest of the Mclaren pit crew. Now if the aero guys can deliver these Germany updates…

  2. Wooolfy said on 9th July 2012, 5:17

    Good job in the pits McLaren. I estimate that the cars are about 0.8-1.2 secs off the pace. They need massive upgrades to challenge for the remainder of this season. After all they are McLaren, it is possible.

  3. Gill (@gill) said on 9th July 2012, 7:04

    The length of the Alonso’s first stint was the reason he did not win. He could have done atleast 3-4 more laps on those tyres and he would have got 3-4 laps less to do on the softs. Ferrari needs to be proactive and not reactive for this is what caused Fernando the title in 2010 and the driver was the same ( Webber) who Fernando followed into the pits.

    • Kabir said on 9th July 2012, 7:29

      2010 was a major blunder.

      But in this case, he had to as Webber was way faster than him after the his first pit stop.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 9th July 2012, 9:12

      @gill, it’s true he might have extended his first stint with a few laps, but I think Ferrari’s strategy was pretty good. No-one could have predicted that Alonso would struggle so badly on the soft tyres, especially as Massa managed 14 laps on the softs with a heavy car.

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 9th July 2012, 10:05

      I think it would have made little difference if they stopped a few laps later. The Red Bull was simply the faster car yesterday, which was a bit obscured by Alonso’s deviating strategy that resulted in his early lead.

  4. Gill (@gill) said on 9th July 2012, 10:01

    I think behaviour of the car changes not only with the “type of tyre” but also with the “set of tyre of particular type”. We saw Hamilton who was faster in the first stint on a heavy fuel load than he was on the second set of hard when the car was light. These tyres are utterly sensitive to the tyre temperature, the weight of the car in terms of fuel load, the track temperature and the suspension settings. Hence the pace of the car is defined.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th July 2012, 12:25

      I understand that the tyres themselves are really remarkably even in quality (with Bridgestones there were far bigger differences between sets, apparently it was noticeable if packed dry or in the rain!). Even to the extend, that Pirelli is able to produce them to the same specs in a different factory.

      • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 9th July 2012, 19:16

        @bascb Yeah, Sky were saying at the weekend the tyres are produced in Turkey but that particular region is susceptible to earthquakes so they do have back-up production if required.

        Only in F1!

  5. Overwatch (@overwatch) said on 9th July 2012, 10:43

    Well, looks like Mclaren fixed their pitstops too late… Had they brought up 2.8 pitstops in first few races they could have much easier job to bring themselves back pointwise…

    • OOliver said on 9th July 2012, 12:09

      Precisely. They would still be in contention for the constructors. Now its a tough climb back up.
      At least they have found this solution.

    • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 9th July 2012, 15:45

      Also the head of this article seems to set apart the fact that in Valencia they also had one of the longest pitstops with Lewis, and that put Lewis in the path of MAD-donado. The rest is history

  6. sato113 (@sato113) said on 9th July 2012, 13:08

    does anyone reckon we’d have had a better race if the compounds used were soft/medium?

    it seems 2 stopper races are a bit less excting. perhaps mediums would have meant 3 stoppers were possible too.

  7. John H (@john-h) said on 9th July 2012, 14:00

    Now for the aero.

    To be honest, I can’t quite believe the car that won at Montreal was the one we saw this weekend at Silverstone.

    It maka no sense!

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