2014 Bahrain Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

F1F CSThe late appearance of the Safety Car in the Bahrain Grand Prix handed an advantage to any driver who had got their stint on the medium tyre out of the way earleir in the race.

Among those still to run the harder tyres was Lewis Hamilton, who thought Nico Rosberg would be able to pass him using the soft tyres. The 2008 world champion had to use every trick he knew to stay ahead.

The Safety Car also played into Red Bull’s hands as both their drivrs had used the medium tyre early. Sebastian Vettel had been one of only two drivers to start the race on it after qualifying outside the top ten.

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Bahrain International Circuit, 2014Only Ferrari, whose car seemed to lack performance whichever tyre they put on it, ran more than one stint on the medium. Fernando Alonso at least had the benefit of two fresh sets to finish the race on, but he and team mate Kimi Raikkonen came home last of the points-scorers.

The performance of Force India’s drivers seemed to inspire their pit crew into producing the fastest pit stop of the race. Nico Hulkenberg’s lap 35 stop was just 13 thousandths of a second quicker than the next best, performed by Ferrari, who had been the fastest team in the first two races.

Bahrain Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3 Stint 4 Stint 5
Lewis Hamilton Soft (19) Soft (22) Medium (16)
Nico Rosberg Soft (21) Medium (20) Soft (16)
Sergio Perez Soft (16) Soft (18) Medium (23)
Daniel Ricciardo Soft (18) Medium (17) Soft (22)
Nico Hulkenberg Soft (15) Soft (20) Medium (22)
Sebastian Vettel Medium (16) Soft (18) Soft (23)
Felipe Massa Soft (13) Soft (15) Soft (10) Medium (19)
Valtteri Bottas Soft (10) Soft (15) Soft (15) Medium (17)
Fernando Alonso Soft (12) Soft (16) Medium (13) Medium (16)
Kimi Raikkonen Soft (13) Soft (20) Medium (8) Medium (16)
Daniil Kvyat Soft (10) Soft (14) Medium (15) Soft (18)
Romain Grosjean Soft (13) Soft (15) Medium (9) Soft (20)
Max Chilton Soft (11) Soft (17) Medium (12) Soft (17)
Pastor Maldonado Soft (19) Soft (20) Medium (1) Soft (17)
Kamui Kobayashi Soft (15) Soft (20) Medium (22)
Jules Bianchi Soft (10) Soft (3) Medium (18) Soft (9) Medium (16)
Jenson Button Soft (17) Soft (18) Medium (20)
Kevin Magnussen Soft (14) Soft (11) Soft (13) Medium (2)
Esteban Gutierrez Soft (12) Soft (15) Soft (12)
Marcus Ericsson Soft (11) Soft (15) Soft (7)
Jean-Eric Vergne Soft (1) Medium (13) Soft (4)
Adrian Sutil Medium (7) Soft (6) Soft (4)

Bahrain Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

Driver Team Pit stop time Gap On lap
1 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 24.440 35
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 24.453 0.013 41
3 Jenson Button McLaren 24.476 0.036 17
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 24.493 0.053 41
5 Felipe Massa Williams 24.528 0.088 13
6 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 24.559 0.119 25
7 Felipe Massa Williams 24.575 0.135 38
8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 24.576 0.136 28
9 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 24.611 0.171 14
10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 24.687 0.247 19
11 Sergio Perez Force India 24.697 0.257 16
12 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 24.706 0.266 18
13 Sergio Perez Force India 24.737 0.297 34
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 24.757 0.317 15
15 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 24.816 0.376 35
16 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 24.851 0.411 21
17 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 24.907 0.467 41
18 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 24.964 0.524 16
19 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 25.009 0.569 13
20 Romain Grosjean Lotus 25.032 0.592 28
21 Valtteri Bottas Williams 25.040 0.600 10
22 Valtteri Bottas Williams 25.068 0.628 25
23 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 25.146 0.706 41
24 Romain Grosjean Lotus 25.192 0.752 13
25 Jenson Button McLaren 25.245 0.805 35
26 Adrian Sutil Sauber 25.293 0.853 7
27 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 25.340 0.900 24
28 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 25.345 0.905 39
29 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 25.367 0.927 11
30 Jules Bianchi Marussia 25.383 0.943 40
31 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 25.395 0.955 19
32 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 25.415 0.975 33
33 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 25.543 1.103 12
34 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 25.572 1.132 38
35 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 25.633 1.193 27
36 Romain Grosjean Lotus 25.693 1.253 37
37 Jules Bianchi Marussia 25.756 1.316 10
38 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 25.770 1.330 12
39 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 25.819 1.379 26
40 Max Chilton Marussia 25.858 1.418 11
41 Jules Bianchi Marussia 25.866 1.426 31
42 Felipe Massa Williams 25.896 1.456 28
43 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 25.897 1.457 14
44 Valtteri Bottas Williams 25.980 1.540 40
45 Max Chilton Marussia 25.981 1.541 40
46 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 26.064 1.624 10
47 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 26.186 1.746 34
48 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 26.440 2.000 39
49 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 26.628 2.188 35
50 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 27.124 2.684 15
51 Max Chilton Marussia 27.233 2.793 28
52 Jules Bianchi Marussia 29.729 5.289 13
53 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 33.895 9.455 1
54 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 34.249 9.809 40
55 Adrian Sutil Sauber 40.747 16.307 13

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

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11 comments on 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

  1. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 6th April 2014, 23:43

    Was Sutil planning to do an 8-stop race based on the first two stint lengths?

  2. OOliver said on 7th April 2014, 7:25

    Mercedes have had to dig very deep to solve their tyre issues from last year for which they suffered lots of humilation and I think it had paid off handsomely this season. Not only have they been very fast, they have had the least degradation on their tyres.

  3. Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 7th April 2014, 9:51

    If i was to be hyper critical of the Mercedes team i would say that their decision to put Nico on the medium for the second stint was intended to keep the two cars apart for as long as possible. Maybe they didn’t fancy their chances of bringing two cars home if it was 57 laps of side by side racing.

    But also, i don’t see how Nico’s strategy was supposed to pay off. As i understand it, the medium tyre was between 0.5-0.7 secs per lap slower so the best strategy would be to keep the soft for as long as possible. Nico did 21 laps at the start (on full fuel) so he should have been able to do at least the same at the end, meaning his medium stint should have been 15 laps at most. They couldn’t have gambled on a safety car, so why did he do 20 laps on the medium? Maybe the performance difference wasn’t as big as expected? I just don’t see how he would have had a chance to win the race without a safety car, despite seemingly being a little faster than Lewis when both were on the same tyre at the start.

    • frood19 (@frood19) said on 7th April 2014, 10:27

      i thought he might be trying to one-stop, but that definitely wouldn’t have worked based on the gap hamilton had pulled before the safety car.

      • Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 7th April 2014, 11:55

        Having now read the press conference it seems they had planned this strategy before the race (presumably in the event of being jumped at the start). But still doesn’t explain why he spent so many laps on the medium, unless as you said he was trying to one stop, but that was never mentioned so i assume wasn’t viable.

    • I believe they didn’t expect Lewis to have a 10 second gap by the time second pitstops arrived.

      • joetoml1n (@joetoml1n) said on 7th April 2014, 13:28

        I’m not sure, they said the performance deficit was less than expected, so surely they could of only predicted a larger gap? I thought they were trying to go long enough to smash in 10 good (almost qualy) laps in clean air to close the gap to Hamilton and pass.
        Sounds easy on paper doesn’t it!

  4. 68btyme (@steadyb) said on 7th April 2014, 12:07

    I really thought Nico was going to try a one stopper. After hearing the team tell Nico that they we’re going to an alternative strategy when he lost the lead at the start. At the rate he seemed to let Lewis pull away after the first stint, I thought he was trying to hit delta times and not worry about running with Hamilton at that point. It would have been a lot of laps on this medium tires, but maybe Nico could have pulled it off. Dunno.

  5. 68btyme (@steadyb) said on 7th April 2014, 12:08

    this=those

  6. DeX said on 7th April 2014, 16:07

    Lewis was faster all weekend, only a small error at turn one on final Q3 lap screwed up another pole for him.
    Even without the safety car Nico had this 10 second gap to make up but he would not have got past Lewis. That is a certainty, because he was unable to pass him with new softs and the gap wiped out by the safety car. Lewis is just faster.

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