2012 Brazilian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel’s championship hopes were almost wrecked when a fault on his radio led to him making a slow extra pit stop late in the race.

Brazilian Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3 Stint 4 Stint 5 Stint 6
Lewis Hamilton Medium (10) Intermediate (8) Hard (36)
Jenson Button Medium (23) Hard (34) Intermediate (14)
Mark Webber Medium (9) Intermediate (10) Hard (36) Intermediate (16)
Sebastian Vettel Medium (10) Intermediate (9) Hard (33) Medium (2) Intermediate (17)
Felipe Massa Medium (15) Intermediate (4) Medium (36) Intermediate (16)
Nico Hulkenberg Medium (23) Hard (34) Intermediate (14)
Fernando Alonso Medium (10) Intermediate (8) Medium (38) Intermediate (15)
Kimi Raikkonen Medium (5) Intermediate (14) Medium (34) Intermediate (17)
Nico Rosberg Medium (9) Intermediate (9) Hard (2) Hard (30) Intermediate (20)
Paul di Resta Medium (10) Intermediate (8) Hard (39) Intermediate (11)
Bruno Senna Medium
Sergio Perez Medium
Michael Schumacher Hard (5) Hard (3) Intermediate (9) Hard (37) Intermediate (17)
Kamui Kobayashi Hard (8) Intermediate (10) Hard (36) Intermediate (17)
Daniel Ricciardo Medium (9) Intermediate (10) Hard (32) Hard (5) Intermediate (5) Wet (9)
Pastor Maldonado Medium (1)
Jean-Eric Vergne Medium (15) Intermediate (5) Hard (9) Hard (27) Intermediate (15)
Romain Grosjean Hard (5)
Vitaly Petrov Medium (14) Intermediate (5) Hard (35) Intermediate (16)
Heikki Kovalainen Medium (15) Intermediate (4) Medium (18) Hard (19) Intermediate (3) Wet (11)
Timo Glock Medium (14) Intermediate (5) Medium (12) Hard (25) Intermediate (14)
Charles Pic Medium (13) Intermediate (7) Medium (35) Intermediate (15)
Narain Karthikeyan Medium (13) Intermediate (7) Hard (31) Hard (4) Intermediate (14)
Pedro de la Rosa Medium (14) Intermediate (5) Medium (31) Hard (5) Intermediate (14)

With 20 laps to go, the track was drying and Vettel’s pace on medium tyres was dropping, a consequence of the rear end damage his car suffered on lap one.

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2012His radio was also not working properly – Red Bull were able to talk to him but they could no longer hear what he was saying. He pitted for medium-compound tyres with 19 laps remaining but was back in two laps later as the rain returned for a set of intermediates.

This was his fourth pit stop of the day. Due to the radio problem his team weren’t prepared for his arrival and didn’t have his tyres ready. The delay cost him seven to eight seconds.

When he returned to the track once again he had fallen to tenth place. With Fernando Alonso third, the Ferrari driver was in a position to win the drivers’ championship with 16 laps remaining.

Two drivers elected to use full wet weather tyres during the final rain shower: Heikki Kovalainen and Daniel Ricciardo. The track never really got wet enough for them to take advantage and the safety car deployment on the penultimate lap also cost them a chance to reap the benefit.

However they did manage to complete a race using all four available types of rubber: medium and hard slicks, intermediates and wet weather tyres.

Brazilian Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

Driver Team Pit stop time Gap On lap
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 20.997 10
2 Mark Webber Red Bull 21.006 0.009 55
3 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 21.182 0.185 19
4 Mark Webber Red Bull 21.232 0.235 19
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 21.256 0.259 52
6 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 21.302 0.305 20
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 21.347 0.350 23
8 Paul di Resta Force India 21.364 0.367 18
9 Timo Glock Marussia 21.442 0.445 19
10 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 21.444 0.447 51
11 Jenson Button McLaren 21.456 0.459 57
12 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 21.541 0.544 5
13 Jenson Button McLaren 21.550 0.553 23
14 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 21.606 0.609 18
15 Felipe Massa Ferrari 21.680 0.683 19
16 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 21.806 0.809 18
17 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 21.827 0.830 54
18 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 21.849 0.852 59
19 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 21.862 0.865 56
20 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 21.973 0.976 61
21 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 22.016 1.019 19
22 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 22.061 1.064 56
23 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 22.243 1.246 17
24 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 22.250 1.253 57
25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 22.362 1.365 15
26 Paul di Resta Force India 22.389 1.392 57
27 Felipe Massa Ferrari 22.427 1.430 55
28 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 22.472 1.475 10
29 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 22.486 1.489 8
30 Felipe Massa Ferrari 22.596 1.599 15
31 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 22.702 1.705 54
32 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 22.721 1.724 37
33 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 22.731 1.734 19
34 Charles Pic Marussia 22.746 1.749 20
35 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 22.838 1.841 9
36 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 22.923 1.926 56
37 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 23.000 2.003 18
38 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 23.002 2.005 56
39 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 23.018 2.021 9
40 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 23.031 2.034 14
41 Charles Pic Marussia 23.082 2.085 55
42 Mark Webber Red Bull 23.127 2.130 9
43 Timo Glock Marussia 23.251 2.254 14
44 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 23.429 2.432 15
45 Timo Glock Marussia 23.544 2.547 31
46 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 23.625 2.628 51
47 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 24.254 3.257 18
48 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 24.262 3.265 20
49 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 24.410 3.413 10
50 Charles Pic Marussia 24.427 3.430 13
51 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 24.510 3.513 55
52 Timo Glock Marussia 24.816 3.819 56
53 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 25.375 4.378 50
54 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 25.787 4.790 14
55 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 25.976 4.979 29
56 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 25.980 4.983 5
57 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 26.573 5.576 19
58 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 26.739 5.742 20
59 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 27.113 6.116 13
60 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 27.266 6.269 8
61 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 27.452 6.455 19
62 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 27.480 6.483 55
63 Paul di Resta Force India 28.336 7.339 10
64 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 28.932 7.935 54
65 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 31.768 10.771 50
66 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 32.309 11.312 53
67 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 32.823 11.826 54
68 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 38.291 17.294 19

Aside from Vettel’s fourth pit stop, Red Bull’s pit work was very rapid in Brazil – they managed four of the five quickest stops. McLaren, unusually, were not among the fastest.

Toro Rosso also had a good day in the pits. But Ferrari’s best effort was almost seven-tenths slower than the quickest of the day.

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

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11 comments on 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

  1. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 26th November 2012, 9:17

    Really feel sad for Hulkenberg. He had the fastest car, best strategy….bad luck in the end.

    • Estesark (@estesark) said on 26th November 2012, 11:11

      I wouldn’t say it was bad luck. Just inexperience.

      • Jayfreese (@) said on 26th November 2012, 11:26

        First safety car was a joke! They could’ve cleared the debris under double-waved yellow flags.
        So, Button or Hulkenberg who mastered their car under tricky conditions should’ve won!

        @estesark, it is not inexperience! Kovalaïnen didn’t gave them (Hamilton & Hulkenberg) space under blue flags conditions, if he weren’t there, the contact wouldn’t have happen or not the same way.

        Sad for Hulkenberg and Hamilton.

        • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 26th November 2012, 13:17

          @jayfreese there was debris on the first couple of corners, turn 4, and the slow bits in the infield.

          It’d have been a whole lap double waved yellows. It’s better to get the Safety Car out…

          • Jayfreese (@) said on 26th November 2012, 18:52

            @fer-no65, I’ve always seen marshals taking up their balls to go clear the debris on every track of the world, every series of motorsport. The more when the two possible champions didi cry on their radios for a safety car, didn’t they?

            Anyway, that was an outter-atlantic pace car rather than a propoer F1 safety car this time, no safety reason (a puncture isn’t unsafe) no safety car!

      • the_sigman (@sigman1998) said on 26th November 2012, 12:57

        I don’t think it is inexperience, but opportunism. ;)

      • the_sigman (@sigman1998) said on 26th November 2012, 12:58

        It was just opportunism imho.

  2. Chris (@chrisckv) said on 26th November 2012, 10:18

    Too opportunistic too eager. He has a faster car. he could have wait for a better straight line overtake with DRS. It’s a risk especially when he has a slide just before the incident with LEwis at the corner. Well, couldn’t blame him though . He’s a racer making instance decision while I am a armchair analysis with replay. Hehe. Nice one though. Force India could have a great chance to win and he lost it and a podium finish.

  3. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 26th November 2012, 11:35

    @jayfreese can’t agree with you more. First the SC and then a quick penalty for a racing incident. Looked like the FIA was hell bent on preventing a Force India podium. Nico Hulkenberg didnt slide by a wide margin for it to be declared his fault.

  4. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 26th November 2012, 22:41

    Redbull showing why they were the best team this year. Not only their car is fast, and they have very capable drivers .. their pit-crew has also been solid all year. Great job by them.

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