2012 Japanese GP tyre strategies and pit stops

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

McLaren set the fastest pit stop of the race – and it allowed Lewis Hamilton to take fifth place off Kimi Raikkonen.

Japanese Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3 Stint 4
Sebastian Vettel Soft (17) Hard (20) Hard (16)
Mark Webber Soft (1) Hard (25) Hard (27)
Kamui Kobayashi Soft (14) Hard (17) Hard (22)
Romain Grosjean Soft (1) Hard (21) Hard (29)
Sergio Perez Soft (15) Hard (3)
Fernando Alonso Soft
Kimi Raikkonen Soft (13) Hard (17) Hard (23)
Jenson Button Soft (13) Hard (22) Hard (18)
Lewis Hamilton Soft (16) Hard (15) Hard (22)
Felipe Massa Soft (17) Hard (19) Hard (17)
Paul di Resta Soft (13) Hard (19) Hard (21)
Pastor Maldonado Soft (16) Soft (17) Hard (20)
Nico Rosberg Soft
Daniel Ricciardo Soft (17) Soft (17) Hard (19)
Nico Hulkenberg Soft (13) Hard (18) Hard (22)
Bruno Senna Soft (1) Hard (15) Hard (18) Soft (19)
Heikki Kovalainen Soft (18) Hard (23) Hard (11)
Timo Glock Soft (20) Hard (20) Hard (12)
Jean-Eric Vergne Hard (18) Soft (17) Soft (18)
Pedro de la Rosa Soft (17) Soft (19) Hard (16)
Charles Pic Hard (14) Soft (17) Hard (6)
Vitaly Petrov Soft (19) Hard (23) Soft (10)
Michael Schumacher Hard (17) Soft (19) Soft (17)
Narain Karthikeyan Soft (15) Soft (17)

Two-stop strategies were preferred by most drivers.

Mark Webber’s first-lap clash with Romain Grosjean meant he made his first pit stop at the end of lap one. He successfully completed the racing by making just one further stop, running two long stints on hard tyres, and salvaging ninth place.

Japanese 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 19.794 31
2 Jenson Button McLaren 20.233 0.439 13
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 20.346 0.552 37
4 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 20.379 0.585 36
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 20.508 0.714 17
6 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 20.643 0.849 17
7 Timo Glock Marussia 20.662 0.868 20
8 Mark Webber Red Bull 20.691 0.897 26
9 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 20.762 0.968 31
10 Felipe Massa Ferrari 20.778 0.984 36
11 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 20.783 0.989 14
12 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 20.901 1.107 13
13 Felipe Massa Ferrari 20.936 1.142 17
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 21.007 1.213 13
15 Paul di Resta Force India 21.063 1.269 13
16 Jenson Button McLaren 21.099 1.305 35
17 Pastor Maldonado Williams 21.118 1.324 33
18 Romain Grosjean Lotus 21.143 1.349 22
19 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 21.148 1.354 16
20 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 21.222 1.428 30
21 Sergio Perez Sauber 21.273 1.479 15
22 Charles Pic Marussia 21.343 1.549 14
23 Paul di Resta Force India 21.344 1.550 32
24 Pastor Maldonado Williams 21.361 1.567 16
25 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 21.367 1.573 42
26 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 21.368 1.574 19
27 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 21.431 1.637 35
28 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 21.516 1.722 34
29 Timo Glock Marussia 21.520 1.726 40
30 Bruno Senna Williams 21.520 1.726 34
31 Bruno Senna Williams 21.538 1.744 16
32 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 21.688 1.894 31
33 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 21.944 2.150 17
34 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 22.487 2.693 36
35 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 22.528 2.734 18
36 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 22.678 2.884 41
37 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 22.816 3.022 18
38 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 23.227 3.433 15
39 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 26.287 6.493 17
40 Bruno Senna Williams 27.098 7.304 1
41 Romain Grosjean Lotus 32.329 12.535 1
42 Mark Webber Red Bull 32.462 12.668 1
43 Charles Pic Marussia 42.505 22.711 31

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Suzuka, 2012McLaren reacted to Raikkonen’s lap 30 pit stop by bringing Hamilton in the next time around. Lotus’s pit stop wasn’t too slow but McLaren’s was inspired – almost half a second quicker than the next-best of the race – which they also set.

It allowed Hamilton to leave the pits side-by-side with Raikkonen and take the position.

Marussia also deserve a word of praise for producing the seventh-quickest stop of the race, beating the likes of Ferrari and Lotus.

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

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Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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3 comments on 2012 Japanese GP tyre strategies and pit stops

  1. as regards to Marussia well done, but ive always said there is no reason why the slower teams should be slower in the pit lane. changing tyres is a physical thing that requires training and practice, practice, practice not £££ so if i was a team boss of HRT or Marussia id be saying ok lads we cant beat them on race speed and money but we can damn well show them a thing or too in the pit lane.

    • Himmat said on 7th October 2012, 19:47

      Well, the above shows a combination of stop and pit entry/exit. Slow cars have got worse traction etc so the stop-go part slows them down by quite a lot. But yeah, regarding the stationary time, they should be ideally on par with the rest – no reason to be slower there.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 10th October 2012, 13:09

      Often crosses my mind. I think Himmat is right to an extent, but their cars aren’t THAT much slower. I guess perhaps they think ‘what’s the point’ in rushing? There is usually a substantial enough gap between the bottom 3 teams where position just isn’t so precious.

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