2014 British Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2014 British Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2014The red flag on the first lap allowed all the drivers to change their tyres immediately. Most of them chose to, but none of those who did remained completed the race without a further pit stop.

One of the drivers who made the most effective use of this opportunity was Daniel Ricciardo, who switched from medium to hard compounds tyres. He then put medium tyres back on as early as lap 15, and continued to the end of the race on the same set of tyres.

He fended off an attack from Jenson Button in the closing stages with what was technically a one-stop strategy as he only pitted once during the race.

“The one stop wasn’t planned,” he said. “We pitted quite early on the [hard] because we were quite slow and it wasn’t working, so we came in for the [medium] and, at one point, my engineer pretty much said ‘alright four laps to go on this tyre then let’s box’.”

“I said ‘the pace seems OK, the tyres aren’t getting any worse and let’s try and stay out or at least think about keeping me out there’ and he said ‘OK we’ll look at our options’.

“Then, a few laps later he said ‘do you think you can go to the end, there’s 15 or 20 laps to go?’, and I said ‘at the moment I think we can give it a crack’. And so, yeah, we did and it paid off.”

But team mate Sebastian Vettel made his first true pit stop even earlier which left him unable to do the same – something his race engineer acknowledged after the race.

“We decided to pit relatively early to try and get the undercut on the McLaren cars ahead,” explained Christian Horner. “Whilst that was successful with both the cars, unfortunately it put us out of the range of a one-stop with Sebastian.”

Fernando Alonso did the reverse – having started on the hard tyres he used two sets of mediums to get to the end of the race. The single lap he did on hards at the start was sufficient to meet the requirement under the rules for everyone to use both types of tyre.

British Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3 Stint 4
Lewis Hamilton Medium (24) Hard (17) Hard (11)
Valtteri Bottas Medium (1) Medium (30) Hard (21)
Daniel Ricciardo Medium (1) Hard (14) Medium (37)
Jenson Button Medium (28) Hard (24)
Sebastian Vettel Medium (1) Hard (9) Medium (23) Medium (19)
Fernando Alonso Hard (1) Medium (24) Medium (27)
Kevin Magnussen Medium (27) Hard (25)
Nico Hulkenberg Medium (29) Hard (23)
Daniil Kvyat Medium (14) Medium (21) Hard (17)
Jean-Eric Vergne Medium (1) Hard (26) Medium (24)
Sergio Perez Medium (1) Hard (25) Medium (25)
Romain Grosjean Medium (1) Hard (29) Medium (21)
Adrian Sutil Medium (1) Medium (22) Hard (28)
Jules Bianchi Medium (1) Medium (28) Hard (22)
Kamui Kobayashi Medium (1) Medium (17) Hard (11) Medium (21)
Max Chilton Medium (1) Medium (0) Medium (28) Hard (21)
Pastor Maldonado Medium (1) Medium (25) Hard (23)
Nico Rosberg Medium (18) Medium (10)
Marcus Ericsson Medium (1) Medium (10)
Esteban Gutierrez Medium (9)
Kimi Raikkonen Hard
Felipe Massa Medium

British Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took, Max Chilton’s very long pit stop was due to the fact he came into the pits when the race was red-flagged and stayed their until it resumed over an hour later.

Driver Team Pit stop time Gap On lap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 28.329 18
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 28.483 0.154 15
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 28.558 0.229 10
4 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 28.575 0.246 35
5 Jenson Button McLaren 28.645 0.316 28
6 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 28.700 0.371 14
7 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 28.745 0.416 27
8 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 28.787 0.458 33
9 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 28.831 0.502 26
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams 29.104 0.775 31
11 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 29.291 0.962 41
12 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 29.507 1.178 18
13 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 29.540 1.211 29
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 29.579 1.250 29
15 Sergio Perez Force India 29.599 1.270 26
16 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 29.679 1.350 24
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus 29.710 1.381 30
18 Max Chilton Marussia 29.737 1.408 29
19 Adrian Sutil Sauber 29.956 1.627 23
20 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 30.218 1.889 27
21 Jules Bianchi Marussia 30.353 2.024 29
22 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 34.410 6.081 25
23 Max Chilton Marussia 3707.606 3679.277 1

2014 British Grand Prix

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Image © Red Bull/Getty

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4 comments on 2014 British Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

  1. Adam Blocker (@blockwall2) said on 7th July 2014, 0:15

    Is that the longest pit stop in F1 history?

  2. HoHum (@hohum) said on 7th July 2014, 0:55

    Whatever the strategy, we owe a great race to the choice of Hard or Medium tyres, that fabulous scrap between Seb and Nando would not have been possible if the tyres had been the softer, more degradable choices. Pirelli should stick to the Hard/Medium tyres for the rest of the season, the racing will always be better when the drivers can dogfight with each other without the tyres overheating and self destructing.

    • Aqib (@aqibqadeer) said on 7th July 2014, 8:01

      the problem with that is just that it doesnt work for some of the teams like lotus and force india who are lighter on their tyres the racing is much closer with slightly softer tyres but i wouldnt want them too soft (like 2013) maybe a little bit softer for next year

    • Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 7th July 2014, 8:18

      Many teams and drivers have complained about the conservative, or ‘too hard’ tyres this year. You can’t just select the hardest tyres for every grand prix because some tracks will not work the tyres hard enough to keep them at temperature, or only the teams with the highest downforce would be able to which would exaggerate the performance gap between teams.

      But yes the harder tyres this race allowed the 2 stoppers to race pretty much flat out while the one stoppers could go to the end comfortably without tip-toeing round for 52 laps.

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