Cool Conditions and Early Safety Car Allow For One-Stop Strategy

Despite the two-stop looking like the favourite between the drivers, it seems the one-stop ended up being the popular strategy in todays race. This was largely due to the cool conditions and early Safety Car period, which allowed the drivers to stretch out what would become their final stints.

Race winner Lewis Hamilton and teammate Nico Rosberg, along with Sebastien Vettel both made just one pitstop for Medium tyres after starting on the Soft tyres around the lap 25/26 mark. That strategy was more or less mimicked by the rest of the field, with the most laps on the Medium tyre being done by Perez in the end on 38. Felipe Massa was not far behind on 37 laps, who finished in fourth place after briefly coming under fire from Raikkonen in the middle stint of the race.

Hulkenberg_Australia_F1WeekendsThe highest two-stop runner today was Nico Hulkenberg, who finished in P7 after starting on the Soft and pitting on lap 24 for a set of Mediums, before going 22 laps in his second stint and finishing off on the Soft tyre with 12 laps left. Kimi Raikkonen was perhaps on the best two-stop strategy, attempting to jump Williams in the pits by going four seconds faster than Massa on the Mediums in the middle stint. If it wasn’t for his botched stop, chances are he would’ve caught Massa who by that point was on rubber that was 19 laps older than his.

Marcus Ericsson also attempted the two stop strategy to claim eight place in the closing stages, however a third stop did lose him time in the middle stint to Hulkenberg. Had he been on the one-stop strategy there is a good chance Ericsson could have jumped him and got seventh, but otherwise a solid position for him and his teammate Felipe Nasr who finished fifth place.

Elsewhere a slow pit stop cost Sainz Jr 30 seconds in the race, which meant that he could’ve finished ahead of Riccardo had the stop went according to plan since he seemed to have the pace later on to pass people in the Medium tyre, although he ultimately lost out to three-stopper Marcus Ericsson in the closing stages. A good effort none the less though to finish P8 on his debut and in the points.

Finally Jenson Button did the most laps on the Soft compound tyre today. Having completed 27 laps, it seems he ended up losing time in the end to Perez who made a late pitstop onto the Soft tyre having started on the Medium. Had McLaren put him on a two stop they probably could’ve potentially raced Perez at the end for the final point, however that may have required a Safety Car along with a late tyre change to do so since his lap times were two seconds off Perez’s.

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