2013 German Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2013 German Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Nurburgring, 2013Unusually one of the front-running teams opted to qualify and start the race on the harder tyres at the Nurburgring.

Ferrari started both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa on the medium tyres due to concerns over how well the soft compound would last in the high temperatures that were forecast for today’s race.

Several drivers did pit very early: three drivers came in on lap four and four more on the next lap. But unfortunately for Ferrari all of them were behind Alonso on the track.

So instead of the front runners having to pit early and come out in traffic, several of them were able to wait a few laps longer and come out in clear air. Lotus had particularly good tyre life on the sorts – Grosjean was still on his when Alonso made his first pit stop while running on mediums.

Another interesting strategic scenario played out later in the race when Lotus had both their cars right on Vettel’s tail with 20 laps remaining. Pitting for mediums, pitting for softs or staying out could all have been valid options for them at this point.

Lotus split their strategy, bringing Grosjean in for mediums in an attempt to undercut Vettel. Now Red Bull were faced with a conundrum: pit and cover Grosjean to go for the win, or stay out and cover Raikkonen (and Alonso) to minimise the damage in the championship?

They chose the former and won the day, but it was far from a sure thing, particularly as Vettel was struggling with a temperamental KERS. Raikkonen chased him down using soft tyres later in the race, but the Red Bull driver hung on by a margin of one second.

German Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3 Stint 4 Stint 5
Sebastian Vettel Soft (7) Medium (17) Medium (17) Medium (19)
Kimi Raikkonen Soft (8) Medium (16) Medium (25) Soft (11)
Romain Grosjean Soft (13) Medium (11) Medium (16) Medium (20)
Fernando Alonso Medium (12) Medium (12) Medium (25) Soft (11)
Lewis Hamilton Soft (6) Medium (16) Medium (23) Medium (15)
Jenson Button Medium (21) Medium (26) Soft (13)
Mark Webber Soft (8) Medium (15) Medium (15) Medium (22)
Sergio Perez Soft (7) Medium (17) Medium (36)
Nico Rosberg Medium (16) Medium (8) Medium (24) Soft (12)
Nico Hulkenberg Medium (17) Medium (20) Medium (12) Soft (11)
Paul di Resta Soft (4) Medium (20) Medium (36)
Daniel Ricciardo Soft (5) Medium (13) Medium (22) Medium (20)
Adrian Sutil Soft (5) Medium (19) Medium (19) Medium (17)
Esteban Gutierrez Soft (6) Medium (16) Medium (19) Medium (19)
Pastor Maldonado Medium (21) Medium (29) Soft (10)
Valtteri Bottas Medium (22) Medium (32) Soft (5)
Charles Pic Soft (4) Medium (20) Medium (10) Medium (25)
Giedo van der Garde Soft (5) Medium (14) Medium (19) Medium (21)
Max Chilton Soft (8) Medium (12) Medium (6) Medium (11) Medium (22)
Jean-Eric Vergne Soft (4) Medium (18)
Jules Bianchi Soft (5) Medium (13) Medium (3)
Felipe Massa Medium (3)

German Grand Prix pit stop times

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Nurburgring, 2013Red Bull performed the best and worst pit stops of the German Grand Prix.

Their first stop of the day, for Vettel on lap seven, was the best of the race. But their attempt to replicate it for Mark Webber on the next lap went disastrously wrong. The right-rear wasn’t fitted properly and for the second time this year Webber lost a wheel after a pit stop. This time it came off in the pits and an unfortunate cameraman was struck by it.

Williams were also in deep trouble in the pits. Both drivers lost significant amounts of time (in excess of ten seconds each) with slow front-right tyre changes, and Valtteri Bottas also had a problem at the opposite end of the car at another stop.

Pastor Maldonado had been running seventh prior to his last pit stop, and this calamity ended Williams’ hopes of ending their 2013 points drought in their 600th race.

Here’s how long each driver’s pit stops took:

Driver Team Pit stop time Gap On lap
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 18.979 7
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 19.118 0.139 41
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 19.316 0.337 45
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 19.321 0.342 22
5 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 19.378 0.399 8
6 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 19.390 0.411 49
7 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 19.476 0.497 49
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 19.487 0.508 6
9 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 19.539 0.560 24
10 Romain Grosjean Lotus 19.591 0.612 40
11 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 19.684 0.705 48
12 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 19.690 0.711 16
13 Jenson Button McLaren 19.692 0.713 47
14 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 19.816 0.837 6
15 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 19.846 0.867 5
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 19.869 0.890 22
17 Adrian Sutil Force India 19.910 0.931 5
18 Mark Webber Red Bull 19.921 0.942 38
19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 19.952 0.973 18
20 Max Chilton Marussia 19.953 0.974 20
21 Mark Webber Red Bull 19.991 1.012 23
22 Romain Grosjean Lotus 20.007 1.028 24
23 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 20.039 1.060 24
24 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 20.196 1.217 40
25 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 20.199 1.220 12
26 Adrian Sutil Force India 20.204 1.225 24
27 Max Chilton Marussia 20.272 1.293 26
28 Romain Grosjean Lotus 20.273 1.294 13
29 Pastor Maldonado Williams 20.331 1.352 21
30 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 20.364 1.385 37
31 Jules Bianchi Marussia 20.371 1.392 18
32 Sergio Perez McLaren 20.432 1.453 7
33 Sergio Perez McLaren 20.433 1.454 24
34 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 20.528 1.549 24
35 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 20.545 1.566 38
36 Paul di Resta Force India 20.547 1.568 4
37 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 20.557 1.578 49
38 Jenson Button McLaren 20.812 1.833 21
39 Jules Bianchi Marussia 20.840 1.861 5
40 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 20.974 1.995 19
41 Max Chilton Marussia 21.021 2.042 8
42 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 21.160 2.181 41
43 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 21.226 2.247 17
44 Charles Pic Caterham 21.388 2.409 24
45 Max Chilton Marussia 21.433 2.454 37
46 Paul di Resta Force India 21.483 2.504 24
47 Adrian Sutil Force India 21.799 2.820 43
48 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 21.900 2.921 5
49 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 22.207 3.228 24
50 Charles Pic Caterham 22.699 3.720 4
51 Charles Pic Caterham 22.986 4.007 34
52 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 23.147 4.168 4
53 Valtteri Bottas Williams 33.796 14.817 22
54 Pastor Maldonado Williams 36.196 17.217 50
55 Valtteri Bottas Williams 45.695 26.716 54
56 Mark Webber Red Bull 162.042 143.063 8

2013 German Grand Prix

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Images ?? Lotus/LAT, Red Bull/Getty

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5 comments on 2013 German Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

  1. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 7th July 2013, 21:16

    From an strategic point of view, wouldn’t it have been better to pit Grosjean for softs, to try harder to get the undercut so Grosjean could block Vettel while Kimi flew away, pitted and came in ahead of both?

    Even after all that happened, Kimi pitted and just needed 2.5 more seconds at hand to return ahead both Vettel and Grosjean.

    No givens on Grosjean being able to undercut Vettel with the softs, but just saying…

    • George (@george) said on 7th July 2013, 23:39

      @fer-no65
      There were still 20 laps left when Grosjean pitted though, if their aim was just to make Vettel stop again (therefore not wanting to leave it any later), then they didn’t really have a choice.

    • Manished said on 8th July 2013, 1:22

      wouldn’t it be better to let kimi stay out longer on first pit stop instead of pitting him behind two merc and losing time??

      hindsight is wonderful stuff

  2. MNM101 (@mnm101) said on 7th July 2013, 21:25

    From what I saw this is what happened during that awful stop, when the wheel gun man tried to fasten the wheel he saw that it wasn’t put on correctly and wanted it to be refitted, so the wheel removal man was waving to the the wheel fitter to do that, that started a chain reaction in which the rear jack man thought he was given the signal to drop the car leading to the front jack doing the same and releasing the car, it’s an unfortunate mistake and i don’t think a team should strive to do slower pitstops when something random like this happens once in 50 stops

  3. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 9th July 2013, 6:16

    Di Resta did 36 laps on a set of Mediums.

    People keep saying the Lotus is the kindest on it tyres. I beg to differ. I think the Force India is better on its tyres. Is only pitfall to the lotus is overall pace.

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