Webber was the only one to start his race with hard tyres
At first, as with everyone else, when he starting dropping back, I thought it was an unusual decision.
But it paid off very handsomely
If you think about it, it’s quite brilliant
If you leave your softs for the last stint, you’ll be making better use of them than earlier because of lower fuel. You’ll be faster, the tyres will degrade less and you will have more grip. Using the softs when you are heavy with fuel, on the other hand, seems wasteful. This strategy is all the more viable since drivers are now fighting for track position up until the very last lap.
However, if you are starting in the top 10 and you’re the only one on hard tyres, the difference in the beginning may be more difficult to catch up later on. It worked for Webber today partly because lower down the grid, it’s much easier to overtake.
Also, qualifying in Q3 with hard tyres might be stupid just for this strategy to work.
But, I think it will be quite useful for the cars starting from the midfield. They’ll become very competitive in the closing stages of the race.
It makese sense to do so. It didn’t work so much last year because track position was still king. Now DRS gives a chance. I think in the more marginal circuits for strategy it might even save you a pitstop.
It’s basically the situation the Top 10 Rule was designed to create.
Now that passing is actually possible it does make sense. I always wondered why they hardly ever decide to do it this way around, I guess because it makes the hard tyres last a lot fewer laps, which means you have to go longer on the softs or make another stop.
It’s possible that the teams are still stuck in last year’s strategy mode, it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve been slow to react to this kind of thing.
Teams will be waiting to see if other people do it, its a game of dare. If someone else does it and it doesnt work, then its them that looses out, if it works then you simply copy it and hope that you can make the current race work for you. One thing that worked for webber (and lewis) was they had more pristine tyres then everyone else, so the race came to them more.
Istanbal will be very interesting.
I want to see someone have the stones to use the harder tyres in Q3. Even if they don’t do particularly well, they still start from minimum 10th and could run on a different strategy to move up the grid.
Even in last years mode, I never understood why some medium teams sacrificed the race strategy just to gain 2 or 3 places in Q3.
It’s much better start the race in P9 or P10 with a good strategy, than starting in P4 or P5 with a bad strategy.
@JCCJCC. Staring position was much more important last year, as there was not a lot of different strategic options available. This year its a little different with multiple pit stops, so I guess we will see some strategic gambles soon.
Well let’s say, for agrument’s sake, that in a 55-lap race the hard tyres will last 18 laps and the softs 12. Soft tyres are about 1s per lap faster.
Going soft-soft-soft-hard means 12-12-12-18 = 54 (and an extra lap on one of the tyres).
But go hard-soft-soft-soft and it might end up being something like 15-12-12-14 = 53 (and 2 laps somewhere else).
Imagine equal pace between cars. Strategy 1 gives you 36 laps on the soft tyres. Straegy 2 gives you 38 laps. 2s advantage over the whole race, or maybe more if you can get the last two soft sets to go a lap longer.
These are just arbitrary numbers of course, but it illustrates the point. The key is getting back in clean air, but the teams usually aim for this anyway.
And we could see even more variations, like soft-soft-hard-soft.
Also, if you did all of qualifying on hard tyres (say you were in a McLaren or Red Bull), you could spend even more time on the softs as they’d have a lap’s less use in them (or even 2, considering how they go for it in qualifying). Though it would be a risk off the line.
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