2012 Japanese GP tyre strategies and pit stops

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

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McLaren set the fastest pit stop of the race – and it allowed Lewis Hamilton to take fifth place off Kimi Raikkonen.

Japanese Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4
Sebastian VettelSoft (17)Hard (20)Hard (16)
Mark WebberSoft (1)Hard (25)Hard (27)
Kamui KobayashiSoft (14)Hard (17)Hard (22)
Romain GrosjeanSoft (1)Hard (21)Hard (29)
Sergio PerezSoft (15)Hard (3)
Fernando AlonsoSoft
Kimi RaikkonenSoft (13)Hard (17)Hard (23)
Jenson ButtonSoft (13)Hard (22)Hard (18)
Lewis HamiltonSoft (16)Hard (15)Hard (22)
Felipe MassaSoft (17)Hard (19)Hard (17)
Paul di RestaSoft (13)Hard (19)Hard (21)
Pastor MaldonadoSoft (16)Soft (17)Hard (20)
Nico RosbergSoft
Daniel RicciardoSoft (17)Soft (17)Hard (19)
Nico HulkenbergSoft (13)Hard (18)Hard (22)
Bruno SennaSoft (1)Hard (15)Hard (18)Soft (19)
Heikki KovalainenSoft (18)Hard (23)Hard (11)
Timo GlockSoft (20)Hard (20)Hard (12)
Jean-Eric VergneHard (18)Soft (17)Soft (18)
Pedro de la RosaSoft (17)Soft (19)Hard (16)
Charles PicHard (14)Soft (17)Hard (6)
Vitaly PetrovSoft (19)Hard (23)Soft (10)
Michael SchumacherHard (17)Soft (19)Soft (17)
Narain KarthikeyanSoft (15)Soft (17)

Two-stop strategies were preferred by most drivers.

Mark Webber’s first-lap clash with Romain Grosjean meant he made his first pit stop at the end of lap one. He successfully completed the racing by making just one further stop, running two long stints on hard tyres, and salvaging ninth place.

Japanese Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Lewis HamiltonMcLaren19.79431
2Jenson ButtonMcLaren20.2330.43913
3Sebastian VettelRed Bull20.3460.55237
4Michael SchumacherMercedes20.3790.58536
5Sebastian VettelRed Bull20.5080.71417
6Michael SchumacherMercedes20.6430.84917
7Timo GlockMarussia20.6620.86820
8Mark WebberRed Bull20.6910.89726
9Kamui KobayashiSauber20.7620.96831
10Felipe MassaFerrari20.7780.98436
11Kamui KobayashiSauber20.7830.98914
12Kimi RaikkonenLotus20.9011.10713
13Felipe MassaFerrari20.9361.14217
14Nico HulkenbergForce India21.0071.21313
15Paul di RestaForce India21.0631.26913
16Jenson ButtonMcLaren21.0991.30535
17Pastor MaldonadoWilliams21.1181.32433
18Romain GrosjeanLotus21.1431.34922
19Lewis HamiltonMcLaren21.1481.35416
20Kimi RaikkonenLotus21.2221.42830
21Sergio PerezSauber21.2731.47915
22Charles PicMarussia21.3431.54914
23Paul di RestaForce India21.3441.55032
24Pastor MaldonadoWilliams21.3611.56716
25Vitaly PetrovCaterham21.3671.57342
26Vitaly PetrovCaterham21.3681.57419
27Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso21.4311.63735
28Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso21.5161.72234
29Timo GlockMarussia21.5201.72640
30Bruno SennaWilliams21.5201.72634
31Bruno SennaWilliams21.5381.74416
32Nico HulkenbergForce India21.6881.89431
33Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso21.9442.15017
34Pedro de la RosaHRT22.4872.69336
35Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso22.5282.73418
36Heikki KovalainenCaterham22.6782.88441
37Heikki KovalainenCaterham22.8163.02218
38Narain KarthikeyanHRT23.2273.43315
39Pedro de la RosaHRT26.2876.49317
40Bruno SennaWilliams27.0987.3041
41Romain GrosjeanLotus32.32912.5351
42Mark WebberRed Bull32.46212.6681
43Charles PicMarussia42.50522.71131

McLaren reacted to Raikkonen’s lap 30 pit stop by bringing Hamilton in the next time around. Lotus’s pit stop wasn’t too slow but McLaren’s was inspired – almost half a second quicker than the next-best of the race – which they also set.

It allowed Hamilton to leave the pits side-by-side with Raikkonen and take the position.

Marussia also deserve a word of praise for producing the seventh-quickest stop of the race, beating the likes of Ferrari and Lotus.

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

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    Image © McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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    Keith Collantine
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    3 comments on “2012 Japanese GP tyre strategies and pit stops”

    1. as regards to Marussia well done, but ive always said there is no reason why the slower teams should be slower in the pit lane. changing tyres is a physical thing that requires training and practice, practice, practice not £££ so if i was a team boss of HRT or Marussia id be saying ok lads we cant beat them on race speed and money but we can damn well show them a thing or too in the pit lane.

      1. Well, the above shows a combination of stop and pit entry/exit. Slow cars have got worse traction etc so the stop-go part slows them down by quite a lot. But yeah, regarding the stationary time, they should be ideally on par with the rest – no reason to be slower there.

      2. Often crosses my mind. I think Himmat is right to an extent, but their cars aren’t THAT much slower. I guess perhaps they think ‘what’s the point’ in rushing? There is usually a substantial enough gap between the bottom 3 teams where position just isn’t so precious.

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