2013 Spanish Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2013 Spanish Grand Prix

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Pit stop strategy dominated the Spanish Grand Prix with most drivers making four visits to the pits. There were 77 pit stops in total

Fernando Alonso enjoyed the quickest pit stop of the race when he made his final stop on lap 49. From pit entry to exit he took 18.471 seconds, almost a full second quicker than the quickest pit stop in last year’s race, which was also set by Ferrari.

The top 19 pit stops in this year’s race were all quicker than the fastest seen last year.

Spanish Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4Stint 5Stint 6
Fernando AlonsoMedium (9)Hard (12)Hard (15)Medium (13)Hard (17)
Kimi RaikkonenMedium (10)Medium (16)Medium (19)Hard (21)
Felipe MassaMedium (8)Hard (12)Hard (16)Medium (15)Hard (15)
Sebastian VettelMedium (10)Hard (14)Hard (15)Medium (12)Hard (15)
Mark WebberMedium (7)Hard (13)Hard (16)Medium (14)Hard (16)
Nico RosbergMedium (10)Hard (17)Hard (20)Hard (19)
Paul di RestaMedium (9)Hard (10)Medium (19)Medium (15)Hard (13)
Jenson ButtonMedium (11)Hard (17)Hard (18)Hard (20)
Sergio PerezMedium (10)Hard (13)Hard (15)Medium (12)Hard (16)
Daniel RicciardoMedium (10)Hard (14)Medium (15)Hard (12)Hard (14)
Esteban GutierrezMedium (13)Medium (15)Hard (14)Medium (12)Hard (11)
Lewis HamiltonMedium (9)Hard (16)Hard (11)Medium (14)Hard (15)
Adrian SutilMedium (8)Medium (14)Hard (14)Hard (13)Medium (16)
Pastor MaldonadoMedium (8)Hard (12)Medium (15)Hard (18)Medium (12)
Nico HulkenbergMedium (8)Medium (13)Hard (13)Hard (1)Hard (18)Medium (12)
Valtteri BottasMedium (9)Hard (16)Hard (18)Medium (22)
Charles PicHard (8)Medium (15)Hard (18)Hard (24)
Jules BianchiHard (2)Hard (14)Hard (13)Medium (17)Hard (18)
Max ChiltonHard (15)Hard (15)Medium (17)Hard (17)
Jean-Eric VergneMedium (9)Hard (11)Medium (14)Hard (3)Medium (15)
Giedo van der GardeMedium (9)Hard (11)Hard (1)
Romain GrosjeanMedium (8)

Spanish Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Fernando AlonsoFerrari18.47149
2Sebastian VettelRed Bull18.6060.13510
3Sebastian VettelRed Bull18.6940.22351
4Sebastian VettelRed Bull18.7080.23724
5Jenson ButtonMcLaren18.8100.33911
6Fernando AlonsoFerrari18.9090.4389
7Mark WebberRed Bull18.9310.46050
8Felipe MassaFerrari19.0010.53051
9Mark WebberRed Bull19.1510.68020
10Mark WebberRed Bull19.1700.69936
11Jenson ButtonMcLaren19.1960.72528
12Sergio PerezMcLaren19.2500.77910
13Jenson ButtonMcLaren19.2900.81946
14Esteban GutierrezSauber19.3240.85354
15Felipe MassaFerrari19.3260.85536
16Nico RosbergMercedes19.3520.88147
17Felipe MassaFerrari19.3730.90220
18Nico HulkenbergSauber19.4020.93121
19Nico RosbergMercedes19.4140.94310
20Lewis HamiltonMercedes19.4570.98650
21Paul di RestaForce India19.4811.01053
22Felipe MassaFerrari19.4901.0198
23Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso19.4981.02739
24Fernando AlonsoFerrari19.5191.04836
25Sebastian VettelRed Bull19.5511.08039
26Adrian SutilForce India19.5911.12036
27Mark WebberRed Bull19.6681.1977
28Lewis HamiltonMercedes19.7001.22936
29Pastor MaldonadoWilliams19.7231.25253
30Kimi RaikkonenLotus19.7431.27226
31Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso19.7721.3019
32Paul di RestaForce India19.7921.32119
33Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso19.7951.32410
34Paul di RestaForce India19.8221.35138
35Jules BianchiMarussia19.8301.35946
36Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso19.8571.38651
37Sergio PerezMcLaren19.8661.39538
38Jules BianchiMarussia19.9041.43329
39Valtteri BottasWilliams19.9081.43743
40Fernando AlonsoFerrari19.9521.48121
41Kimi RaikkonenLotus19.9781.50710
42Esteban GutierrezSauber19.9881.51728
43Nico HulkenbergSauber19.9931.5228
44Sergio PerezMcLaren19.9931.52250
45Nico RosbergMercedes20.0321.56127
46Esteban GutierrezSauber20.0821.61142
47Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso20.1001.62924
48Lewis HamiltonMercedes20.1321.66125
49Kimi RaikkonenLotus20.1841.71345
50Pastor MaldonadoWilliams20.2051.7348
51Adrian SutilForce India20.3061.83522
52Nico HulkenbergSauber20.3141.84353
53Valtteri BottasWilliams20.5332.06225
54Sergio PerezMcLaren20.5782.10723
55Paul di RestaForce India20.6152.1449
56Jules BianchiMarussia20.6562.18516
57Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso20.6712.20020
58Charles PicCaterham20.7342.2638
59Pastor MaldonadoWilliams20.8002.32935
60Charles PicCaterham20.8702.39923
61Valtteri BottasWilliams21.1712.7009
62Charles PicCaterham21.2022.73141
63Max ChiltonMarussia21.3402.86947
64Max ChiltonMarussia21.5823.11130
65Giedo van der GardeCaterham21.6863.2159
66Lewis HamiltonMercedes22.0183.5479
67Giedo van der GardeCaterham22.0293.55820
68Esteban GutierrezSauber22.1443.67313
69Nico HulkenbergSauber22.3243.85334
70Adrian SutilForce India22.9314.46049
71Pastor MaldonadoWilliams23.1394.66820
72Nico HulkenbergSauber24.0015.53035
73Max ChiltonMarussia25.2946.82315
74Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso25.3626.89134
75Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso29.74011.26937
76Jules BianchiMarussia29.99411.5232
77Adrian SutilForce India74.02655.5558

2013 Spanish Grand Prix

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Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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17 comments on “2013 Spanish Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops”

  1. Average medium stint = 12.17 laps, 56.65km (35.19mi), or 18.43% of the race.
    Average hard stint = 13.83 laps, 64.37km (39.99mi), or 20.95% of the race.

    1. LOL. The fastest and most expensive cars in the world are going ahead with tyres that last, on average, 64 km (and that only if the drivers are told not to push…) Not sure if I should laugh or cry.

    2. Great arithmatic, but disappointing results.
      I wonder how much four pitstops and driving less rapidly to conserve the tyres actualy lengthen the race duration. I wonder is someone could compare the average lap time over the duration of the race (ie total time divided by laps) and compare it to a GP2 time.

      1. No idea about the GP2 time however here is the total race times going back to 2004 when they started running 66 laps instead of 65.
        2013 — 1:39:17.00
        2012 — 1:39:09.15
        2011 — 1:39:03.30
        2010 — 1:35:44.01
        2009 — 1:37:19.20
        2008 — 1:38:19.05
        2007 — 1:31:36.23
        2006 — 1:26:21.76
        2005 — 1:27:16.83
        2004 — 1:27:32.84

        This years race was 7.85 seconds slower/longer then last years race, while compared to the 2011 running it was 13.70 seconds slower/longer in total time.

        7.85 seconds over 66 laps works out to be 0.11893 seconds per lap slower/longer on average, so round up and you can say that this years race was 0.12 seconds slower/longer per lap then the 2012 running.

        1. I have to say I was expecting a lot more of a drop off this year. But I’m surprised that the race takes 12 minutes longer than it did in 2004.
          This year’s GP2 race was 41:59 over 26 laps, so average of 1:36.54 per lap. The average lap for this year’s F1 was 1:30.15.

          1. @timothykatz, remember they didn’t have the chicane before the final corner in 2004, so those times are a little flattered. I think they put the chicane in for the 2008 season. The race times for the 2008 and 2009 season look a little slow, especially considering they had refuelling back then, but both those races saw a safety car.

            I think the difference between the 2010 race and the races in the Pirelli era is a nice illustration of the impact that degradable tyres have on race pace.

  2. I’m amazed just how much as a top team Lotus loses to leaders during pit stops. They can’t afford that if they’re chasing championship glory.

    1. This is going to bite hard in Monaco, where it is already nearly impossible to find free air to do the pit-stop, specially if a slow car leading the pack.

  3. Interesting to see that Raikonnen was able to replace Ferrari’s and Red Bull’s two hard stints with one medium stint: that Lotus is a really well built car.

    1. @andae23, true, but I have the feeling that the modified hard didn’t work as well as expected, or at least was trickier to get to work than the medium, which actually worked pretty well for most drivers.

      1. @adrianmorse considering how Lotus consistently flunk pitstops, they should always go for lesser stopping strategies…

  4. Can’t help to think that many the teams got it wrong, and that the medium tyre actually was better for the race. It’s faster, but the difference in nr of laps isn’t that big.

    1. More new hard tyre sets. Actually did Raikonnen do 2 stints out of 4 with used mediums? So much to tyre issues for some teams/drivers

  5. Does anyone know what was Alonso’s stationary time for his final pitstop. With varying pitlane lengths, it’s difficult to compare cumulative pitstop times from circuit to circuit…

  6. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    13th May 2013, 16:10

    Looking at the pit stops, is it conclusive that 4 pit stops were the better strategy?

    I think that was the case just for the Ferraris.
    Rosberg on 3 pit stops managed to keep P6 as opposed to dropping further back. Raikonnen took P2. Red Bull must certainly regret not taking a chance on a 3 pit stop strategy for Vettel. Button leapfrogged Perez on the 3 pit stop strategy so it was the correct tyre strategy for the McLaren. Hamilton dropped to P12 on a 4 pit stop strategy.

    The only cars that benefited from a 4 pit stop strategy were the Ferraris BUT Alonso is saying that they were just lucky that the tyre deg happened to give them the pace to win. Slightly worse tyre deg and Raikonnen would have won it.

    1. Mr win or lose
      13th May 2013, 20:44

      4 pitstops were better in general, see for example Maldonado versus Bottas. Räikkönen only managed to get his 3-stop strategy work because of his extremely low tyre wear, although I think he too might have done better if he’d done a 4-stop strategy – he lost quite a bit behind Vettel before his second stop. Rosberg and Button did a good job nursing his tyres, but they were not particularly fast – their strategy at least made them less susceptible to traffic. It’s not strange that given the high tyre-wear rates (laptimes increasing by 4 seconds on worn tyres) and the relatively minor time losses in the pits, many teams (Red Bull and at least Sauber) changed their strategyfrom a 3-stop to a 4-stop.

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