2012 Korean Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2012 Korean Grand Prix

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McLaren may not be screwing their cars together very well at the moment but when it comes to pit stops there’s none faster.

Korean Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4
Mark WebberSuper soft (14)Soft (18)Soft (23)
Sebastian VettelSuper soft (15)Soft (20)Soft (20)
Lewis HamiltonSuper soft (13)Soft (13)Soft (16)Super soft (13)
Fernando AlonsoSuper soft (15)Soft (19)Soft (21)
Kimi RaikkonenSuper soft (14)Soft (21)Soft (20)
Felipe MassaSuper soft (14)Soft (21)Soft (20)
Romain GrosjeanSuper soft (13)Soft (18)Soft (24)
Nico HulkenbergSuper soft (13)Soft (19)Soft (23)
Nico RosbergSuper soft (1)
Michael SchumacherSuper soft (13)Soft (19)Soft (23)
Jenson ButtonSoft
Sergio PerezSoft (18)Super soft (15)Soft (22)
Kamui KobayashiSoft (1)Soft (15)
Paul di RestaSoft (15)Super soft (13)Soft (27)
Pastor MaldonadoSuper soft (21)Soft (34)
Jean-Eric VergneSoft (13)Soft (25)Super soft (17)
Bruno SennaSuper soft (14)Soft (18)Soft (23)
Vitaly PetrovSuper soft (14)Soft (18)Soft (22)
Heikki KovalainenSuper soft (13)Soft (20)Soft (21)
Timo GlockSuper soft (14)Soft (17)Super soft (23)
Daniel RicciardoSuper soft (14)Soft (20)Soft (21)
Pedro de la RosaSoft (16)
Narain KarthikeyanSuper soft (18)Soft (35)
Charles PicSuper soft (17)Soft (17)Super soft (19)

Two pit stops were the preferred strategy for most drivers. Lewis Hamilton, struggling with a broken rear anti-roll bar, couldn’t make his tyres last in the second stint and was the only driver to make three visits to the pits.

There were two drivers who finished the race with a single pit stop: Pastor Maldonado and Narain Karthikeyan.

Maldonado finished ahead of his two-stopping team mate: “At the beginning of the race, we were too hard on the front tyres which meant that we couldn?t go as fast as we would have liked,” he said. “After the pit stop things were better and we were able to do 30 laps on that set of tyres.”

Korean Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Lewis HamiltonMcLaren19.44742
2Mark WebberRed Bull19.6160.16932
3Lewis HamiltonMcLaren19.6380.19113
4Sebastian VettelRed Bull19.8010.35435
5Mark WebberRed Bull19.8110.36414
6Sebastian VettelRed Bull19.8300.38315
7Fernando AlonsoFerrari19.9300.48315
8Michael SchumacherMercedes20.0870.64013
9Fernando AlonsoFerrari20.0900.64334
10Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso20.1510.70414
11Kimi RaikkonenLotus20.2110.76414
12Paul di RestaForce India20.2180.77128
13Michael SchumacherMercedes20.2760.82932
14Timo GlockMarussia20.4941.04731
15Felipe MassaFerrari20.6071.16014
16Sergio PerezSauber20.7671.32033
17Lewis HamiltonMcLaren20.7771.33026
18Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso20.8041.35734
19Paul di RestaForce India20.8051.35815
20Felipe MassaFerrari20.8551.40835
21Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso20.8651.41813
22Romain GrosjeanLotus20.9351.48831
23Nico HulkenbergForce India20.9821.53532
24Kimi RaikkonenLotus21.0121.56535
25Pastor MaldonadoWilliams21.1371.69021
26Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso21.1881.74138
27Charles PicMarussia21.3021.85517
28Heikki KovalainenCaterham21.4892.04233
29Vitaly PetrovCaterham21.5812.13432
30Romain GrosjeanLotus21.6812.23413
31Bruno SennaWilliams21.8862.43914
32Heikki KovalainenCaterham21.8962.44913
33Charles PicMarussia22.0192.57234
34Nico HulkenbergForce India22.1252.67813
35Vitaly PetrovCaterham22.2782.83114
36Timo GlockMarussia22.3342.88714
37Narain KarthikeyanHRT22.7493.30218
38Bruno SennaWilliams22.8133.36632
39Sergio PerezSauber24.4084.96118
40Kamui KobayashiSauber33.00313.5561

Korea was the seventh time in the last nine races McLaren produced the quickest pit stop. Only Red Bull are up with them on sheer speed at the moment, and they were more consistent in this race too.

2012 Korean Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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  • 6 comments on “2012 Korean Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops”

    1. Red Bull have really stepped up their game lately when it come to pit stops.

    2. David Livingstone
      15th October 2012, 0:10

      One must really wonder if the hyper fast pit stops are worth it for McLaren when race after race we see them making small errors.

      In the above data we can glean that while McLaren and Lewis had two of the three outright fastest pit stops, Red Bull actually averaged a faster time. More importantly however, we only need look to last race to find the last time that McLaren had an issue in a pit stop. It would be interesting to see the frequency of these issues compared to Red Bull (or, in fact, any other team).

      It appears to me the the one or two tenths they gain in the pits:

      Firstly, comes at the expense of sometimes bungling the whole thing.

      Secondly, isn’t really worth the risk. The number of times two cars are separated at the pit exit by 0.1-0.2s is very very low. Mostly we see fast in/outlaps and outright overtakes in the pits. McLaren should evaluate whether they really need to be pushing quite as hard, given that the payoff is minimal if it even exists, but the cost is potentially huge.

      1. Agree with the observation that going for the lowest possible time is a fool’s errand. Consistency is more important. But remember after the series of debacles, McLaren stated they were going to shock the world with quick stops. That’s how they are. We’ll that’s what they did, but so what? Is it bringing in more points to do a 2.6 stop? How about if they decided simply to cut out the dumb pit mistakes —leaving the removed tire in the car’s path, etc.—and focus on reliability of key components.

      2. Thing is, I think they had to show that they could improve after all the calamities at the beginning of the season but yes, you may be on to something with them perhaps going too far. That said, they’ve had very few problems in the pits since the beggining of the season.

    Comments are closed.