Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2016

2016 Australian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2016 Australian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

The outcome of the Australian Grand Prix hung on Ferrari’s decision not to put fresh tyres on either of their cars when the race was suspended.

Mercedes did take advantage of the opportunity and their call to put Nico Rosberg on the medium compound tyres arguably won him the race while Ferrari’s decision not to change Sebastian Vettel’s five-lap-old super-softs cost him victory. However Ferrari were not the only team unwilling to commit to the hardest tyres available – a compound which had seen little action in practice.

Of the 16 other drivers running at this point five were already on mediums and six more switched to them. But four put on softs and Jenson Button, uniquely, opted for a new set of super-softs.

Vettel’s lap 13 pit stop was the quickest of the race. Significantly two of the next three fastest tyre change times were achieved by Williams, who often struggled to achieve competitive pit stops last year. It seems the Grove mechanics have been working hard on their pit stop drills over the winter.

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2016 Australian Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3 Stint 4
Nico Rosberg Super soft (12) Soft (6) Medium (39)
Lewis Hamilton Super soft (16) Medium (41)
Sebastian Vettel Super soft (13) Super soft (22) Soft (22)
Daniel Ricciardo Super soft (12) Super soft (6) Soft (24) Super soft (15)
Felipe Massa Super soft (11) Soft (7) Medium (39)
Romain Grosjean Soft (18) Medium (39)
Nico Hulkenberg Soft (16) Medium (41)
Valtteri Bottas Soft (17) Medium (40)
Carlos Sainz Jnr Super soft (8) Soft (10) Soft (13) Medium (26)
Max Verstappen Super soft (13) Soft (5) Soft (14) Medium (25)
Jolyon Palmer Super soft (12) Soft (6) Medium (39)
Kevin Magnussen Super soft (1) Soft (17) Medium (39)
Sergio Perez Soft (16) Medium (41)
Jenson Button Soft (15) Soft (3) Super soft (12) Medium (26)
Felipe Nasr Super soft (10) Soft (8) Medium (38)
Pascal Wehrlein Super soft (11) Soft (7) Soft (14) Medium (24)
Marcus Ericsson Super soft (11) Soft (7) Medium (20)
Kimi Raikkonen Super soft (16) Super soft (5)
Rio Haryanto Super soft (12) Soft (5)
Esteban Gutierrez Soft (16)
Fernando Alonso Super soft (12) Soft (4)

2016 Australian Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

Driver Team Pit stop time Gap On lap
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 21.339 13
2 Valtteri Bottas Williams 21.376 0.037 17
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 21.531 0.192 12
4 Felipe Massa Williams 21.550 0.211 11
5 Fernando Alonso McLaren 21.796 0.457 12
6 Jenson Button McLaren 21.837 0.498 30
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 21.940 0.601 16
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 21.981 0.642 42
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 22.167 0.828 16
10 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 22.245 0.906 12
11 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 22.303 0.964 13
12 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 22.357 1.018 11
13 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso 22.392 1.053 31
14 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso 22.414 1.075 8
15 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 22.508 1.169 16
16 Jenson Button McLaren 22.616 1.277 15
17 Felipe Nasr Sauber 22.701 1.362 10
18 Rio Haryanto Manor 23.224 1.885 12
19 Jolyon Palmer Renault 23.286 1.947 12
20 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 23.895 2.556 32
21 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 24.548 3.209 35
22 Sergio Perez Force India 24.719 3.380 16
23 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 26.206 4.867 11
24 Kevin Magnussen Renault 27.831 6.492 1
25 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 29.066 7.727 32

NB. Pascal Wehrlein, Felipe Nasr, Jenson Button, Marcus Ericsson, Jolyon Palmer, Nico Rosberg, Max Verstappen, Romain Grosjean, Felipe Massa, Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz Jnr all changed tyres when the race was suspended on lap 18.

Update: The data initially issued after the race indicated Magnussen had put medium tyres on at his first pit stop, rather than softs. The article has been revised accordingly.

2016 Australian Grand Prix

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