Sunday 23 June 2024

Tyre strategy 'played vital role in Vettel's F1 win'

MANAMA, April 9, 2018

Tyre strategy was at the heart of the race at Bahrain Grand Prix, as the second race of the season came down to a thrilling cat and mouse game between Ferrari and Mercedes, said Pirelli, the exclusive tyre supplier to the Formula One World Championship.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel held off the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton at the finish on a set of soft tyres that had been on the car for 39 laps, while both his rivals were on fresher medium tyres.

Hamilton was the only driver in the top 10 on the grid to start on soft tyres, it stated.

Like his team mate Bottas, he switched to the medium on a one-stop strategy. Vettel however, was on a supersoft-soft strategy, doing an unprecedentedly long final stint on the soft in a tense finish as Bottas closed in during the final laps, said the Italian tyre giant, which is also the exclusive tyre supplier to the Superbike world championship, and many single marque championships around the world.

There was a very wide variety of different strategies at work, with the top eight all adopting several different patterns of tyre usage, and many drivers using strategy to score some of their best results, such as Pierre Gasly in fourth (Toro Rosso) and Marcus Ericsson in ninth (Sauber). Several drivers also used all three compounds available during the race, it stated.

"This was an absolutely thrilling and absorbing race, which delivered exactly what we hoped with this latest generation of tyres: many different strategies, close racing and an exciting finish with some of the best drivers in the world battling each other down to the final corner," remarked Mario Isola, the head of Car Racing at Pirelli Motorsport.

"Tyre management was absolutely key to Vettel’s victory, with the Ferrari driver making a new set of soft tyres last for 39 laps, which we never saw before here during the weekend," noted Isola.  

Mercedes, he stated, also made a one-stop strategy work by putting two cars on the podium when a two-stopper was theoretically quicker: this decision altered the entire complexion of the race and made for a thrilling conclusion.

"Congratulations also to Pierre Gasly and Toro Rosso, and our best wishes for a speedy recovery to the Ferrari mechanic who was injured during their pit stop," he added.

According to him, Vettel won the race using a one-stop strategy, despite a two-stopper being the quickest tactic.

"Only four classified drivers stopped once: the top three, plus Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson. Vettel made his sole stop on lap 18, switching from supersoft to soft," he added.

Founded in Milan in 1872, Pirelli has become one of the world's largest tyre manufacturers in its 144 year history, with a focus in the high end range.

Through its commitment to R&D, its products are synonymous with Italian excellence in the world, where Pirelli counts 20 tyre factories - including the US plant of Rome, Georgia - and a commercial presence in 160 countries.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain Grand Prix | Vettel | Pirelli |

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