2013 Malaysian GP tyre strategies and pit stops

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013A wet start to the race saw most drivers run four-stop strategies and a total of 73 pit stops during the race.

As the entire field started on intermediate tyres none of the drivers were required to use both dry-weather compounds. But all of them bar the two Williams drivers did.

Lotus were the highest-placed team that completed the race on three pit stops, giving further indication of the E21’s strength over a race stint.

Jenson Button was on course to do the same and was running in front of them before a problem in the pits ruined his race.

Malaysian Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3 Stint 4 Stint 5
Sebastian Vettel Intermediate (5) Medium (17) Hard (10) Hard (10) Medium (14)
Mark Webber Intermediate (7) Hard (12) Medium (12) Hard (12) Hard (13)
Lewis Hamilton Intermediate (7) Medium (14) Medium (9) Hard (11) Medium (15)
Nico Rosberg Intermediate (8) Medium (14) Medium (9) Hard (11) Medium (14)
Felipe Massa Intermediate (5) Medium (15) Hard (13) Medium (14) Medium (9)
Romain Grosjean Intermediate (7) Medium (13) Medium (15) Hard (21)
Kimi Raikkonen Intermediate (6) Medium (15) Medium (13) Hard (22)
Nico Hulkenberg Intermediate (7) Medium (14) Medium (13) Hard (10) Hard (12)
Sergio Perez Intermediate (7) Medium (15) Medium (11) Hard (21) Hard (2)
Jean-Eric Vergne Intermediate (7) Hard (19) Hard (17) Medium (13)
Valtteri Bottas Intermediate (6) Medium (16) Medium (18) Medium (16)
Esteban Gutierrez Intermediate (7) Hard (15) Medium (14) Medium (15) Hard (4)
Jules Bianchi Intermediate (6) Medium (11) Hard (12) Hard (14) Medium (12)
Charles Pic Intermediate (7) Medium (13) Hard (12) Medium (11) Medium (12)
Giedo van der Garde Intermediate (6) Hard (12) Hard (10) Hard (14) Medium (13)
Max Chilton Intermediate (6) Medium (13) Hard (12) Medium (10) Hard (13)
Jenson Button Intermediate (7) Medium (14) Medium (14) Hard (18)
Daniel Ricciardo Intermediate (6) Medium (13) Medium (14) Hard (18)
Pastor Maldonado Intermediate (6) Medium (7) Medium (19) Medium (13)
Adrian Sutil Intermediate (6) Medium (16) Hard (5)
Paul di Resta Intermediate (6) Medium (14) Hard (2)
Fernando Alonso Intermediate (1)

Malaysian Grand Prix pit stop times

Red Bull were on top form in the pits, producing the top four fastest stops seen during the Grand Prix. Their best was 1.4 seconds faster than the quickest stop last year, which was done by Mercedes.

There were a few blunders in the pits as well. Lewis Hamilton pulled up in the pit box of his former team McLaren, before realising his mistake and moving on to the Mercedes garage.

Later in the race McLaren provided a reminder of why Hamilton wants to get his car serviced elsewhere this year. A botched pit stop for Jenson Button cost him a top five finish.

Force India also had problems in the pits with their new ‘captive wheel nut’ system. A failure on the front-left forced them to retire both cars.

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

Driver Team Pit stop time Gap On lap
1 Mark Webber Red Bull 20.736 19
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 20.757 0.021 42
3 Mark Webber Red Bull 20.767 0.031 43
4 Mark Webber Red Bull 20.883 0.147 31
5 Sergio Perez McLaren 20.894 0.158 22
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 20.970 0.234 47
7 Mark Webber Red Bull 21.010 0.274 7
8 Jenson Button McLaren 21.028 0.292 21
9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 21.079 0.343 22
10 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 21.135 0.399 5
11 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 21.202 0.466 42
12 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 21.271 0.535 41
13 Sergio Perez McLaren 21.338 0.602 33
14 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 21.339 0.603 22
15 Sergio Perez McLaren 21.366 0.630 54
16 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 21.465 0.729 21
17 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 21.482 0.746 32
18 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 21.549 0.813 30
19 Felipe Massa Ferrari 21.561 0.825 33
20 Sergio Perez McLaren 21.583 0.847 7
21 Felipe Massa Ferrari 21.635 0.899 20
22 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 21.638 0.902 26
23 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 21.699 0.963 21
24 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 21.702 0.966 43
25 Romain Grosjean Lotus 21.812 1.076 20
26 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 21.903 1.167 34
27 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 22.008 1.272 33
28 Jules Bianchi Marussia 22.017 1.281 29
29 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 22.028 1.292 8
30 Romain Grosjean Lotus 22.105 1.369 7
31 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 22.114 1.378 31
32 Max Chilton Marussia 22.115 1.379 31
33 Max Chilton Marussia 22.271 1.535 41
34 Jules Bianchi Marussia 22.335 1.599 43
35 Romain Grosjean Lotus 22.385 1.649 35
36 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 22.388 1.652 19
37 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 22.394 1.658 36
38 Felipe Massa Ferrari 22.403 1.667 5
39 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 22.416 1.680 6
40 Jenson Button McLaren 22.448 1.712 7
41 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 22.542 1.806 51
42 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 22.575 1.839 22
43 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 22.629 1.893 34
44 Max Chilton Marussia 22.668 1.932 19
45 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 22.677 1.941 21
46 Pastor Maldonado Williams 22.703 1.967 32
47 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 22.706 1.970 18
48 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 22.744 2.008 42
49 Valtteri Bottas Williams 22.937 2.201 40
50 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 22.996 2.260 7
51 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 23.198 2.462 44
52 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 23.252 2.516 6
53 Charles Pic Caterham 23.373 2.637 32
54 Jules Bianchi Marussia 23.755 3.019 17
55 Charles Pic Caterham 23.844 3.108 43
56 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 24.397 3.661 7
57 Pastor Maldonado Williams 24.737 4.001 6
58 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 24.933 4.197 7
59 Valtteri Bottas Williams 24.960 4.224 6
60 Charles Pic Caterham 25.015 4.279 20
61 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 25.118 4.382 28
62 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 25.905 5.169 6
63 Jules Bianchi Marussia 26.546 5.810 6
64 Valtteri Bottas Williams 28.045 7.309 22
65 Max Chilton Marussia 30.365 9.629 6
66 Pastor Maldonado Williams 32.561 11.825 13
67 Adrian Sutil Force India 37.833 17.097 6
68 Paul di Resta Force India 43.713 22.977 6
69 Charles Pic Caterham 44.428 23.692 7
70 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 49.216 28.480 7
71 Adrian Sutil Force India 89.401 68.665 22
72 Jenson Button McLaren 104.833 84.097 35
73 Paul di Resta Force India 123.124 102.388 20

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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12 comments on 2013 Malaysian GP tyre strategies and pit stops

  1. John H (@john-h) said on 24th March 2013, 19:17

    Wow, those Webber pit stops are amazing.

  2. Alex (@smallvizier) said on 24th March 2013, 19:23

    Looks like Vettel’s slow getaway on lap 32 cost him 0.7s at the most. It looked sloppy but didn’t make that much of a difference.

  3. Palle (@palle) said on 24th March 2013, 21:12

    “There were a few blunders in the pits as well. Lewis Hamilton pulled up in the pit box of his former team McLaren, before realising his mistake and moving on to the Mercedes garage.

    Later in the race McLaren provided a reminder of why Hamilton wants to get his car serviced elsewhere this year. A botched pit stop for Jenson Button cost him a top five finish.”
    I think it was the McLaren crews refusal to service Lewis, which made him realize his error – we laughed a lot about it. Good for Lewis that the Mercedes pit box was further down the pit lane. But after the blunder McLaren did with Buttons pitstop Lewis was the last to laugh:-)

  4. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 24th March 2013, 21:41

    Lewis’ visit to McLaren cost around 3.5-4 seconds.

  5. q85 said on 25th March 2013, 0:01

    surprising one of the top 4 didnt try a 3 stopper. Only massa was anywhere near them if it went totally wrong.

    Despite the many pit stops we never really saw the tyres go off the cliff or really get near it. They all jumped long before that boat sank

  6. claudioff (@claudioff) said on 25th March 2013, 1:03

    It seems to me that the tyres´s choice was more a style matter (Some drivers may prefer red than silver) than performance. I saw no clear advantage or difference between the componds.

  7. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 25th March 2013, 8:34

    I was suprised that the medium was the tyre of choice for most people. I had expected everyone to run the hard on this high-degradation track.

    Mercedes’s attempt at the undercut was interesting, although initially I was shocked to see Hamilton come in so early again. Perhaps they were hoping to run Red Bull out of tyres, having complained all weekend of possibly not having enough tyres, but it didn’t work out for Mercedes in the end. Even though Hamilton got ahead of Vettel, Sebastian breezed past him easily, and in the right DRS zone. I still find it amazing that Rosberg got re-overtaken twice by Hamilton on the start finish straight. I would have expected him to hang back the second time around and have a go at start-finish.

    • Mr draw said on 25th March 2013, 13:01

      It was funny indeed that Mercedes tried to get past the Red Bulls even though they knew they could never beat them because of their fuel issues. However, Webber was pretty slow on mediums, so Mercedes’ main objective was probably to get their cars out of the dirty air.

      Having said that, the tyres behave strangely this year. Webber was faster on hard tyres, but he replaced them very early – indicating high wear. So probably the differences in speed and wear between the tyre compounds have more to do with car setup and driving style than the tyres themselves. Some drivers are better on medium tyres and some are better on hard tyres. At least the tyres create an element of surprise. I like it, but I have to get used to it.

  8. kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 25th March 2013, 13:43

    The team order issue had obscured the main problems highlighted in Malaysia – that the tyres are now controlling the race to a very large degree; and that cannot be right. It is no longer about drivers skill, but tyre manangement based on the balance/setup of the car. Even without the fuel saving/engine saving scenarios we saw in the race, neither the Mercs nor the Bulls were able to push their cars to the maximum at any one time during the race. Surely, that cannot be right? The consensus between the drivers and team principals is now clear and getting louder – The tyres are indeed ruining the racing. This is the same for every one – because winning has largely become quite unpredictable or at worse a lottery.

  9. Dear god Lotus sucks with their pitstop! For example Raikkonen lost around 7 seconds total with just pitstops vs RB/Mercedes/McLaren/Ferrari and many other mid teams. How can they be constantly so slow? Kinda hard for driver to fight for positions when team does awful job with pitstops, on top of other possible problems….

  10. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 25th March 2013, 23:02

    Weren’t Red Bull and Mercedes the ones screaming the most about the tyres during the course of the last week? Ironic that they finished 1-2-3-4!

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