Just as was predicted the two-stop strategy was the main one adopted by teams in yesterdays Bahrain Grand Prix, even though it looked like the three-stop strategy was faster. The Medium tyre in particular showed some pretty good milage in the falling track temperatures, allowing some drivers to go faster at the end.
Kimi Raikkonen is probably the most notable, getting rid of the prime tyre in the middle stint then running the Soft at the end whilst everyone else was on the Medium. This allowed him to take Rosberg at the end, despite the Mercedes driver struggling with brake problems. Raikkonen did have good pace on the Medium in middle stint, but it made more sense for Ferrari to go for the Soft once Vettel had to pit again with front wing damage.
Up until then Vettel was doing a very good job at undercutting Mercedes, getting past Nico Rosberg on both occasions that he pitted before the Mercedes driver forced the issue on him on track. Mercedes also had to react to Vettel’s pace with Hamilton, showing that their threat of pace is certainly real despite many believing that their win in Malaysia was a one off.
Kvyat and Massa meanwhile made use of the Soft, Medium, Medium strategy in their recovery drives to get into the points-paying positions.
Hulkenberg and the two Sauber’s were the only drivers to make use of the three-stop strategy, seemingly finishing outside of the points because of the time they lost pitting in the first stint whilst everyone else was trying to make their tyres last longer. That allowed Alonso to pass them in the closing stages because he was on the Soft tyre and lapping four tenths per-lap faster in the McLaren.
Alonso actually managed the most laps on the Soft tyre along with Riccardo completing 21, whilst Massa completed the most on the Medium at 32 laps which he did in the final stint.