Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Buddh International Circuit, 2012

2012 Indian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2012 Indian Grand PrixPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton’s five-wheel change for McLaren was the fourth-quickest pit stop of the race.

Indian Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3
Sebastian Vettel Soft (33) Hard (27)
Mark Webber Soft (30) Hard (30)
Lewis Hamilton Soft (32) Hard (28)
Jenson Button Soft (25) Hard (35)
Fernando Alonso Soft (29) Hard (31)
Felipe Massa Soft (28) Hard (32)
Kimi Raikkonen Soft (27) Hard (33)
Sergio Perez Soft (14) Soft (5) Hard (1)
Pastor Maldonado Soft (27) Hard (3) Hard (29)
Nico Rosberg Soft (27) Hard (33)
Romain Grosjean Hard (36) Soft (24)
Nico Hulkenberg Soft (28) Hard (32)
Bruno Senna Soft (26) Hard (34)
Michael Schumacher Hard (1) Soft (32) Soft (22)
Daniel Ricciardo Hard (27) Soft (33)
Paul di Resta Soft (28) Hard (32)
Kamui Kobayashi Hard (36) Soft (24)
Jean-Eric Vergne Soft (1) Soft (32) Hard (26)
Vitaly Petrov Soft (31) Hard (28)
Heikki Kovalainen Soft (32) Hard (27)
Timo Glock Soft (31) Hard (27)
Pedro de la Rosa Soft (32) Hard (10)
Narain Karthikeyan Soft (26) Hard (32)
Charles Pic Soft (28) Hard (31)

Sebastian Vettel delayed his first pit stop as he was still going strong on the soft tyres after half distance.

“I felt very good on the soft tryes and was competitive,” he said. “I could have stayed out even longer I think, but at some stage you have to cover. McLaren and Ferrari were quick on the hard tyre today, so it was important to have a gap to them.”

However McLaren could not get as much performance out of the soft tyre compared to the hard, as was clear from practice. Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “We found it difficult to coax sufficient pace out of the [softs], but our car was the fastest in the field on the [hards].

“The trouble was, by the time we were running on [hards], the gap to the cars ahead was a bit too large.”

Indian Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

Driver Team Pit stop time Gap On lap
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 20.707 33
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 20.800 0.093 29
3 Mark Webber Red Bull 20.808 0.101 30
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 20.852 0.145 32
5 Romain Grosjean Lotus 20.976 0.269 36
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 21.100 0.393 28
7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 21.322 0.615 33
8 Sergio Perez Sauber 21.336 0.629 14
9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 21.404 0.697 27
10 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 21.490 0.783 27
11 Jenson Button McLaren 21.509 0.802 25
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 21.654 0.947 28
13 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 21.658 0.951 33
14 Pastor Maldonado Williams 22.003 1.296 27
15 Bruno Senna Williams 22.047 1.340 26
16 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 22.445 1.738 31
17 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 22.637 1.930 27
18 Charles Pic Marussia 22.692 1.985 28
19 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 22.726 2.019 36
20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 22.967 2.260 32
21 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 23.830 3.123 32
22 Paul di Resta Force India 23.948 3.241 28
23 Sergio Perez Sauber 24.508 3.801 19
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 24.544 3.837 26
25 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 25.036 4.329 1
26 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 25.097 4.390 1
27 Timo Glock Marussia 27.303 6.596 31
28 Pastor Maldonado Williams 28.053 7.346 30

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Buddh International Circuit, 2012Red Bull were the fastest team in the pits for the third time in the last seven races.

But McLaren’s pit stop for Lewis Hamilton was impressively quick – the fourth-fastest of the race – given that it included a change of steering wheel.

“During that first stint I started having a downshift problem,” explained Hamilton. “I was having to change down with my right hand instead of my left, so the team elected to change the steering wheel at the pit stop.”

“I?ve never had to change a steering wheel during a race before. We?ve done it in Barcelona testing before, but never in a race. Even so, the guys did it fantastically quickly, under immense pressure, so I want to say ??well done!? to them all.

“I took the wheel off before I?d even stopped the car, and threw it out of the car. The team then fitted a new one, I clicked it into first gear, and I was away ?ǣ all in just a bit over three seconds flat.”

2012 Indian Grand Prix

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Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

5 comments on “2012 Indian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops”

  1. Just rewatched that Lewis stop, pure magic. Incredible how fast everything happens.

    1. Yeah, it really looked impressive. Slow-throw-stop-attach-go! :)

  2. Vettel was the last onto his stop, covering Hamilton rather than Alonso/Webber. I think he was just playing games with the rest of the field to be honest. I think him making sure he was last to the pits was about him trying to further his record of most consecutive laps led, rather than any strategy!

  3. That steering wheel change was impressive, brilliant how it’s just plug and play!

    Seeing Raikkonen get around Massa with their pit-stop battle was cruel when his hard-work was undone by Massa’s DRS moments later! Makes you wonder if sometimes it’s best to hang back and attack later, though I could appreciate Raikkonen wanting to get it done quickly.

  4. Vettal is just the best…. Born legend

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