Aggressive two-stop plan helps Raikkonen to fourth

2014 Belgian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014Four-time Belgian Grand Prix winner Kimi Raikkonen was expected to have a strong race at Spa-Francorchamps and so it proved – fourth was his best result of the year so far.

He was holding on to a podium position with five laps to go thanks to an aggressive two-stop tyre strategy. He made his first pit stop as early as lap eight – the same lap Nico Rosberg made his first of three pit stops.

For Ferrari this had the beneficial effect of taking Raikkonen out of some of the more fraught battles for position, allowing him to run near to his optimum pace. He also finished ahead Fernando Alonso, beating him for the first time this year as his team mate picked up a five-second penalty due to his mechanics lingering too long on the grid at the start of the race.

“We had decided to tackle this race more aggressively, making an early stop to get ahead of the cars that had yet to pit and that meant I was able to stay with the leaders for much of the race,” Raikkonen explained.

However it left him vulnerable to Valtteri Bottas at the end of the race, who was running a more conventional two-stop strategy.

“When Bottas in the Williams began to close on me, I knew I didn’t have the speed to defend on the straight and with a few laps to go, he managed to pass me.”

Belgian Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

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

Belgian Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

Driver Team Pit stop time Gap On lap
1 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 22.414 23
2 Jenson Button McLaren 22.588 0.174 29
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 22.675 0.261 27
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 22.731 0.317 22
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams 22.769 0.355 12
6 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 22.800 0.386 10
7 Jenson Button McLaren 22.800 0.386 13
8 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 22.819 0.405 21
9 Romain Grosjean Lotus 22.838 0.424 13
10 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 22.858 0.444 8
11 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 22.898 0.484 30
12 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 22.913 0.499 11
13 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 22.936 0.522 19
14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 22.974 0.560 25
15 Sergio Perez Force India 22.977 0.563 22
16 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 23.066 0.652 17
17 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 23.115 0.701 11
18 Valtteri Bottas Williams 23.176 0.762 28
19 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 23.190 0.776 34
20 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 23.202 0.788 29
21 Felipe Massa Williams 23.224 0.810 35
22 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 23.259 0.845 14
23 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 23.392 0.978 34
24 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 23.571 1.157 15
25 Adrian Sutil Sauber 23.732 1.318 34
26 Max Chilton Marussia 23.734 1.320 11
27 Adrian Sutil Sauber 23.755 1.341 11
28 Adrian Sutil Sauber 23.779 1.365 21
29 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 23.823 1.409 10
30 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 23.841 1.427 30
31 Jules Bianchi Marussia 23.918 1.504 23
32 Felipe Massa Williams 23.945 1.531 9
33 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 24.082 1.668 10
34 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 24.083 1.669 11
35 Felipe Massa Williams 24.083 1.669 21
36 Sergio Perez Force India 24.104 1.690 9
37 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 24.213 1.799 24
38 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 24.436 2.022 24
39 Romain Grosjean Lotus 24.569 2.155 27
40 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 24.757 2.343 31
41 Max Chilton Marussia 24.873 2.459 29
42 Jules Bianchi Marussia 25.362 2.948 1
43 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 25.580 3.166 2
44 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 28.920 6.506 12
45 Romain Grosjean Lotus 29.256 6.842 1
46 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 29.997 7.583 8

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

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12 comments on Aggressive two-stop plan helps Raikkonen to fourth

  1. Was there a strong reason to make Vettel change the medium tyres to soft, after only 12 laps? Or was it just a bad call/strategy from the team? I believe he lost there the chance to fight for a place in the podium.

    • Bookgrub said on 25th August 2014, 0:08

      It seemed to me watching that Vettel struggled with his tyres all race. Not particularly surprising, given how minimal his dry-weather running had been during practice. I imagine he had to use Ricciardo’s data to set his own car up and then compromise that setup somewhat for wet qualifying. Not ideal, especially given it seems that he and Ricciardo tend to drive the car differently.

      To be on the podium he would have had to fight Bottas, and I don’t think he had the pace to do that.

      • kartik said on 25th August 2014, 2:49

        @yes-master
        Vet ran Ric settings for tires , hence he couldn’t extract the grip like Ric was.

        • Bookgrub said on 25th August 2014, 5:22

          @kartik

          Do you have a link for that? I’d be really interested to read a little more about it, but none of the (small number) of F1 sites I read has covered that aspect yet.

        • Bookgrub, kartik, that would explain it. And in that perspective, he probably should have decided to maintain the soft tyres in the 2nd pit stop and change to medium only in the 3rd. And, yes, there was Bottas, who was quite faster then him. So, in the end, the chances would still be less then 20%. Vettel needs to do more and better. But somehow I can’t imagine him doing it this year.

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 26th August 2014, 8:29

      @yes-master – Vettel had some troubles either with the car or his setup respectively both.
      He was constantly 1s down in S2 compared to RIC on equal tyres so I’d say he just couldn’t get the tyres or the car working in the same way RIC did in the downforce sections and due to sliding had probably a higher degradation rate.

  2. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 25th August 2014, 0:05

    Glad to see Raikkonen have a bit better race today. At least they tried a different strategy, maybe it did help. He was ahead of Bottas until the tires faded. At least he had a chance to drive well on a track he performs well on.

  3. HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th August 2014, 0:37

    @keithcollantine, ? How did MB change ROSs wing without loseing more time ?

  4. Wais (@itswais77) said on 25th August 2014, 9:31

    Sutil is actually stupid, he had the prime tyres, he should’ve stayed out an extra 5-10 laps, so that costed him 12th-13th for Sauber.

  5. ColdFly F1 (@coldfly) said on 31st August 2014, 18:04

    Did Bianchi do 22 laps on the softs (on a full tank)?
    That would be amazing, longer than what all but KR did on the mediums (on emptier tanks)!

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