2012 United States GP tyre strategies and pit stops

2012 United States Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Almost every driver pitted just once in the United States Grand Prix but Mercedes leant towards a two-stopper which cost them dearly.

United States Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3
Sebastian Vettel Medium (21) Hard (35)
Lewis Hamilton Medium (20) Hard (36)
Mark Webber Medium (16)
Kimi Raikkonen Medium (24) Hard (32)
Michael Schumacher Medium (14) Hard (25) Hard (16)
Nico Hulkenberg Medium (17) Hard (39)
Fernando Alonso Medium (20) Hard (36)
Romain Grosjean Medium (9) Hard (47)
Pastor Maldonado Medium (21) Hard (35)
Bruno Senna Medium (20) Hard (36)
Felipe Massa Medium (26) Hard (30)
Jenson Button Hard (35) Medium (21)
Paul di Resta Medium (21) Hard (9) Hard (25)
Jean-Eric Vergne Medium (14)
Sergio Perez Medium (22) Hard (34)
Kamui Kobayashi Medium (13) Hard (42)
Nico Rosberg Hard (34) Medium (22)
Daniel Ricciardo Medium (30) Hard (26)
Timo Glock Medium (21) Hard (34)
Charles Pic Medium (26) Hard (28)
Vitaly Petrov Medium (23) Hard (32)
Heikki Kovalainen Medium (21) Hard (34)
Pedro de la Rosa Medium (24) Hard (30)
Narain Karthikeyan Medium (25) Hard (29)

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2012Few drivers opted for anything other than a one-stop strategy at the Circuit of the Americas as tyre degradation proved low on the smooth and dusty track.

The vast majority chose to start on the medium tyres. A notable exception was Jenson Button, who ran long on a set of hard tyres to rise from12th on the grid to finish fifth.

Romain Grosjean ended up on a different strategy after spinning early on. Having pitted on lap nine he ran on his subsequent set of tyres for 47 laps to recover seventh place.

Michael Schumacher had to make two pit stops after struggling for grip in his first stint. “I couldn’t get any grip from my first set of tyres, and there must have been some kind of damage for them to perform so badly.

“We had to change our strategy to two stops which then compromised our race even further.” Mercedes seemed to think more drivers would stop twice, telling Nico Rosberg this was the case during the race.

United States 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 20.814 20
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 20.904 0.090 21
3 Romain Grosjean Lotus 21.190 0.376 9
4 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 21.297 0.483 39
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 21.346 0.532 34
6 Jenson Button McLaren 21.445 0.631 35
7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 21.520 0.706 26
8 Sergio Perez Sauber 22.079 1.265 22
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 22.099 1.285 17
10 Bruno Senna Williams 22.143 1.329 20
11 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 22.263 1.449 14
12 Pastor Maldonado Williams 22.342 1.528 21
13 Charles Pic Marussia 22.379 1.565 26
14 Paul di Resta Force India 22.444 1.630 30
15 Paul di Resta Force India 22.498 1.684 21
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 22.651 1.837 30
17 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 22.713 1.899 21
18 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 22.762 1.948 23
19 Timo Glock Marussia 23.092 2.278 21
20 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 24.079 3.265 13
21 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 24.439 3.625 20
22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 24.497 3.683 25
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 24.798 3.984 24
24 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 24.840 4.026 24

McLaren achieved the fastest pit stop for the eighth time this year, although Red Bull almost matched them with Sebastian Vettel’s pit stop.

Fernando Alonso suffered a slow stop for Ferrari but fortunately for him Kimi Raikkonen’s pit stop was even slower – indeed, it was the worst of the race. He lost track position to Felipe Massa because of it, as Massa’s stop was 3.3 seconds faster.

2012 United States Grand Prix

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Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei