Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

2017 Spanish Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2017 Spanish Grand PrixPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Although the medium compound tyre was considerably slower than the soft at the Circuit de Catalunya, we didn’t see as many short stints on the compound as might have been expected.

There was one good reason for this. The Spanish track is notoriously difficult for overtaking. Running a short stint on mediums would mean running an extra stint on softs, and more pit stops means a far greater chance of being stuck in traffic.

So the field overwhelmingly preferred two-stop strategies. Among the notable exceptions was Daniil Kvyat, who started last on mediums and discarded them after the first lap. His two lengthy stints on softs helped him reached the chequered flag in the points.

Initial race leader Sebastian Vettel, however, found himself snookered into running a long stint on the mediums after making his first pit stop early. He also missed out on the chance to take his second stop during the Virtual Safety Car period, costing him more time.

2017 Spanish Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

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2017 Spanish Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3 Stint 4
Lewis Hamilton Soft (21) Medium (15) Soft (30)
Sebastian Vettel Soft (14) Soft (23) Medium (29)
Daniel Ricciardo Soft (21) Medium (17) Soft (28)
Sergio Perez Soft (18) Soft (16) Medium (31)
Esteban Ocon Soft (16) Soft (18) Medium (31)
Nico Hulkenberg Soft (15) Soft (18) Medium (32)
Pascal Wehrlein Soft (33) Medium (32)
Carlos Sainz Jnr Soft (13) Soft (21) Medium (31)
Daniil Kvyat Medium (1) Soft (32) Soft (32)
Romain Grosjean Soft (19) Soft (15) Medium (31)
Marcus Ericsson Soft (18) Soft (14) Medium (32)
Fernando Alonso Soft (12) Soft (19) Medium (20) Soft (13)
Felipe Massa Soft (1) Soft (12) Soft (20) Medium (31)
Kevin Magnussen Soft (13) Soft (20) Medium (30) Soft (1)
Jolyon Palmer Medium (2) Soft (19) Soft (21) Soft (22)
Lance Stroll Soft (12) Soft (21) Medium (31)
Valtteri Bottas Soft (26) Medium (12)
Stoffel Vandoorne Medium (12) Soft (20)
Max Verstappen Soft (1)
Kimi Raikkonen
Driver Team Pit stop time Gap On lap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 21.544 21
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 21.689 0.145 26
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 21.722 0.178 36
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 21.811 0.267 21
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 21.918 0.374 38
6 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso 21.934 0.390 34
7 Lance Stroll Williams 22.071 0.527 33
8 Lance Stroll Williams 22.100 0.556 12
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 22.117 0.573 33
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 22.235 0.691 1
11 Felipe Massa Williams 22.292 0.748 13
12 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 22.307 0.763 37
13 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 22.362 0.818 33
14 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso 22.432 0.888 13
15 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 22.490 0.946 15
16 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 22.499 0.955 14
17 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 22.547 1.003 12
18 Esteban Ocon Force India 22.616 1.072 16
19 Romain Grosjean Haas 22.641 1.097 34
20 Esteban Ocon Force India 22.643 1.099 34
21 Fernando Alonso McLaren 22.690 1.146 12
22 Kevin Magnussen Haas 22.703 1.159 13
23 Jolyon Palmer Renault 22.762 1.218 21
24 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 22.775 1.231 32
25 Romain Grosjean Haas 22.866 1.322 19
26 Fernando Alonso McLaren 22.923 1.379 51
27 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 22.995 1.451 18
28 Felipe Massa Williams 23.066 1.522 33
29 Sergio Perez Force India 23.107 1.563 34
30 Jolyon Palmer Renault 23.159 1.615 2
31 Fernando Alonso McLaren 23.354 1.810 31
32 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 23.445 1.901 33
33 Kevin Magnussen Haas 23.814 2.270 33
34 Jolyon Palmer Renault 24.750 3.206 42
35 Kevin Magnussen Haas 25.052 3.508 63
36 Sergio Perez Force India 25.082 3.538 18
37 Felipe Massa Williams 40.612 19.068 1

2017 Spanish Grand Prix

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2 comments on “2017 Spanish Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops”

  1. Initial race leader Sebastian Vettel, however, found himself snookered into running a long stint on the mediums after making his first pit stop early. He also missed out on the chance to take his second stop during the Virtual Safety Car period, costing him more time.

    Quite. Despite all that – a premature and unnecessary tyre stop by his team, lack of a teammate when faced with a Merc tag-team blocking, an unlucky VSC and heeding to run almost half the race on slow medium tyres, Vettel finished just 3.5 seconds behind the winner.

  2. Why can’t one driver go for 5-6 laps in Q3 (a continuous run let’s say)? Is because of tyre deg or they’re not allowed to do multiple laps?

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