2013 Indian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2013 Indian Grand Prix

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Buddh International Circuit, 2013How did Romain Grosjean, who started 17th, end up racing team mate Kimi Raikkonen for the final podium place?

This all came down to which of the two drivers managed to make a one-stop strategy work. Grosjean’s failure to progress beyond Q1 ended up working in his favour as he was able to start the race on new tyres.

Both Lotus drivers started the race on the softer compound. But Raikkonen had used his during qualifying, while Grosjean’s were fresh.

Raikkonen also struggled to keep his brakes from overheating during the first part of the race. He pitted to get rid of his soft tyres on lap seven, leaving him with 53 laps to cover on the medium tyres.

He made little headway to begin with, passing Paul di Resta and Valtteri Bottas before the halfway point. As the lap charts show Lotus done as Red Bull did and given Raikkonen two stints on the medium tyres it would have guaranteed a loss of position to Felipe Massa and the Mercedes drivers.

Leaving him out at least gave him a chance of staying ahead of them, but in the final ten laps his tyres went off so quickly he was practically defenceless. The only driver he succeeded in holding up for any length of time – to Lotus’s understandable frustration – was his team mate.

Grosjean had been able to run almost twice as long on his new soft tyres at the start of the race as Raikkonen had on his used rubber. But Grosjean was also able to make the medium tyres last longer.

Looking at their lap times we can see that although Grosjean’s medium tyres were six laps newer than Raikkonen, his lap times only began to rise around nine laps later than Raikkonen’s had. And that may have been due to his team’s warnings about his engine temperature.

Grosjean’s advantage of starting on the newer tyres plus his slightly better management of the medium tyres made the difference. But Pirelli didn’t want any of the teams running stints as long as Lotus had.

Before the race Pirelli told teams not to run the soft tyre for more than 15 laps or the medium for more than 35. As the table below shows both Lotus drivers did, as did Adrian Sutil’s Force India.

Indian Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3 Stint 4
Sebastian Vettel Soft (2) Medium (29) Medium (29)
Nico Rosberg Soft (7) Medium (20) Medium (33)
Romain Grosjean Soft (13) Medium (47)
Felipe Massa Soft (8) Medium (22) Medium (30)
Sergio Perez Medium (28) Soft (5) Medium (27)
Lewis Hamilton Soft (8) Medium (22) Medium (30)
Kimi Raikkonen Soft (7) Medium (51) Medium (2)
Paul di Resta Soft (1) Medium (29) Medium (30)
Adrian Sutil Medium (41) Soft (19)
Daniel Ricciardo Medium (33) Soft (5) Medium (22)
Fernando Alonso Medium (2) Medium (28) Soft (6) Medium (24)
Pastor Maldonado Soft (8) Medium (30) Medium (22)
Jean-Eric Vergne Soft (1) Medium (25) Medium (33)
Jenson Button Medium (6) Soft (6) Medium (20) Medium (27)
Esteban Gutierrez Medium (26) Medium (21) Soft (12)
Valtteri Bottas Medium (31) Medium (18) Soft (10)
Max Chilton Medium (29) Medium (23) Soft (6)
Jules Bianchi Soft (5) Medium (28) Medium (25)
Nico Hulkenberg Soft (5) Medium (28) Medium (20) Soft (1)
Mark Webber Medium (28) Soft (4) Medium (7)
Charles Pic Soft (1) Medium (15) Medium (19)
Giedo van der Garde Soft (1)

Indian Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

Driver Team Pit stop time Gap On lap
1 Felipe Massa Ferrari 23.332 30
2 Mark Webber Red Bull 23.459 0.127 32
3 Mark Webber Red Bull 23.487 0.155 28
4 Jenson Button McLaren 23.517 0.185 6
5 Sergio Perez McLaren 23.541 0.209 28
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 23.546 0.214 8
7 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 23.568 0.236 31
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 23.574 0.242 30
9 Felipe Massa Ferrari 23.579 0.247 8
10 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 23.595 0.263 30
11 Romain Grosjean Lotus 23.648 0.316 13
12 Paul di Resta Force India 23.662 0.330 1
13 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 23.685 0.353 7
14 Jenson Button McLaren 23.774 0.442 12
15 Adrian Sutil Force India 23.891 0.559 41
16 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 23.895 0.563 27
17 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 24.000 0.668 2
18 Paul di Resta Force India 24.024 0.692 30
19 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 24.066 0.734 36
20 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 24.096 0.764 5
21 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 24.128 0.796 26
22 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 24.141 0.809 58
23 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 24.232 0.900 1
24 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 24.415 1.083 47
25 Max Chilton Marussia 24.445 1.113 52
26 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 24.471 1.139 38
27 Jenson Button McLaren 24.754 1.422 32
28 Max Chilton Marussia 24.757 1.425 29
29 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 24.834 1.502 33
30 Sergio Perez McLaren 24.910 1.578 33
31 Jules Bianchi Marussia 25.383 2.051 33
32 Pastor Maldonado Williams 25.530 2.198 8
33 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 25.608 2.276 33
34 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 25.660 2.328 26
35 Valtteri Bottas Williams 25.909 2.577 49
36 Pastor Maldonado Williams 26.312 2.980 38
37 Charles Pic Caterham 26.970 3.638 16
38 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 26.989 3.657 7
39 Valtteri Bottas Williams 27.619 4.287 31
40 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 29.057 5.725 53
41 Charles Pic Caterham 29.082 5.750 1
42 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 29.800 6.468 2
43 Jules Bianchi Marussia 33.937 10.605 5

2013 Indian Grand Prix

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4 comments on 2013 Indian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

  1. bharat (@bharat141) said on 28th October 2013, 7:28

    Great drive by Romain. Does this mean FI are gettin back to the plave where they started their 2013 campaign? VJM06 being very kind on the pirellis and they can get longer stints and skip one pitstop with respect to.others? (like PdR did at Canada) If so great news for the team and they can atleast stay afloat of rampaging sauber of Hulk

  2. Mr win or lose said on 28th October 2013, 11:38

    Didn’t Gutiérrez pit in lap 16?

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