2013 German Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2013 German Grand Prix

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Unusually one of the front-running teams opted to qualify and start the race on the harder tyres at the Nurburgring.

Ferrari started both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa on the medium tyres due to concerns over how well the soft compound would last in the high temperatures that were forecast for today’s race.

Several drivers did pit very early: three drivers came in on lap four and four more on the next lap. But unfortunately for Ferrari all of them were behind Alonso on the track.

So instead of the front runners having to pit early and come out in traffic, several of them were able to wait a few laps longer and come out in clear air. Lotus had particularly good tyre life on the sorts – Grosjean was still on his when Alonso made his first pit stop while running on mediums.

Another interesting strategic scenario played out later in the race when Lotus had both their cars right on Vettel’s tail with 20 laps remaining. Pitting for mediums, pitting for softs or staying out could all have been valid options for them at this point.

Lotus split their strategy, bringing Grosjean in for mediums in an attempt to undercut Vettel. Now Red Bull were faced with a conundrum: pit and cover Grosjean to go for the win, or stay out and cover Raikkonen (and Alonso) to minimise the damage in the championship?

They chose the former and won the day, but it was far from a sure thing, particularly as Vettel was struggling with a temperamental KERS. Raikkonen chased him down using soft tyres later in the race, but the Red Bull driver hung on by a margin of one second.

German Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4Stint 5
Sebastian VettelSoft (7)Medium (17)Medium (17)Medium (19)
Kimi RaikkonenSoft (8)Medium (16)Medium (25)Soft (11)
Romain GrosjeanSoft (13)Medium (11)Medium (16)Medium (20)
Fernando AlonsoMedium (12)Medium (12)Medium (25)Soft (11)
Lewis HamiltonSoft (6)Medium (16)Medium (23)Medium (15)
Jenson ButtonMedium (21)Medium (26)Soft (13)
Mark WebberSoft (8)Medium (15)Medium (15)Medium (22)
Sergio PerezSoft (7)Medium (17)Medium (36)
Nico RosbergMedium (16)Medium (8)Medium (24)Soft (12)
Nico HulkenbergMedium (17)Medium (20)Medium (12)Soft (11)
Paul di RestaSoft (4)Medium (20)Medium (36)
Daniel RicciardoSoft (5)Medium (13)Medium (22)Medium (20)
Adrian SutilSoft (5)Medium (19)Medium (19)Medium (17)
Esteban GutierrezSoft (6)Medium (16)Medium (19)Medium (19)
Pastor MaldonadoMedium (21)Medium (29)Soft (10)
Valtteri BottasMedium (22)Medium (32)Soft (5)
Charles PicSoft (4)Medium (20)Medium (10)Medium (25)
Giedo van der GardeSoft (5)Medium (14)Medium (19)Medium (21)
Max ChiltonSoft (8)Medium (12)Medium (6)Medium (11)Medium (22)
Jean-Eric VergneSoft (4)Medium (18)
Jules BianchiSoft (5)Medium (13)Medium (3)
Felipe MassaMedium (3)

German Grand Prix pit stop times

Red Bull performed the best and worst pit stops of the German Grand Prix.

Their first stop of the day, for Vettel on lap seven, was the best of the race. But their attempt to replicate it for Mark Webber on the next lap went disastrously wrong. The right-rear wasn’t fitted properly and for the second time this year Webber lost a wheel after a pit stop. This time it came off in the pits and an unfortunate cameraman was struck by it.

Williams were also in deep trouble in the pits. Both drivers lost significant amounts of time (in excess of ten seconds each) with slow front-right tyre changes, and Valtteri Bottas also had a problem at the opposite end of the car at another stop.

Pastor Maldonado had been running seventh prior to his last pit stop, and this calamity ended Williams’ hopes of ending their 2013 points drought in their 600th race.

Here’s how long each driver’s pit stops took:

DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Sebastian VettelRed Bull18.9797
2Sebastian VettelRed Bull19.1180.13941
3Lewis HamiltonMercedes19.3160.33745
4Lewis HamiltonMercedes19.3210.34222
5Kimi RaikkonenLotus19.3780.3998
6Kimi RaikkonenLotus19.3900.41149
7Fernando AlonsoFerrari19.4760.49749
8Lewis HamiltonMercedes19.4870.5086
9Fernando AlonsoFerrari19.5390.56024
10Romain GrosjeanLotus19.5910.61240
11Nico RosbergMercedes19.6840.70548
12Nico RosbergMercedes19.6900.71116
13Jenson ButtonMcLaren19.6920.71347
14Esteban GutierrezSauber19.8160.8376
15Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso19.8460.8675
16Esteban GutierrezSauber19.8690.89022
17Adrian SutilForce India19.9100.9315
18Mark WebberRed Bull19.9210.94238
19Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso19.9520.97318
20Max ChiltonMarussia19.9530.97420
21Mark WebberRed Bull19.9911.01223
22Romain GrosjeanLotus20.0071.02824
23Sebastian VettelRed Bull20.0391.06024
24Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso20.1961.21740
25Fernando AlonsoFerrari20.1991.22012
26Adrian SutilForce India20.2041.22524
27Max ChiltonMarussia20.2721.29326
28Romain GrosjeanLotus20.2731.29413
29Pastor MaldonadoWilliams20.3311.35221
30Nico HulkenbergSauber20.3641.38537
31Jules BianchiMarussia20.3711.39218
32Sergio PerezMcLaren20.4321.4537
33Sergio PerezMcLaren20.4331.45424
34Kimi RaikkonenLotus20.5281.54924
35Giedo van der GardeCaterham20.5451.56638
36Paul di RestaForce India20.5471.5684
37Nico HulkenbergSauber20.5571.57849
38Jenson ButtonMcLaren20.8121.83321
39Jules BianchiMarussia20.8401.8615
40Giedo van der GardeCaterham20.9741.99519
41Max ChiltonMarussia21.0212.0428
42Esteban GutierrezSauber21.1602.18141
43Nico HulkenbergSauber21.2262.24717
44Charles PicCaterham21.3882.40924
45Max ChiltonMarussia21.4332.45437
46Paul di RestaForce India21.4832.50424
47Adrian SutilForce India21.7992.82043
48Giedo van der GardeCaterham21.9002.9215
49Nico RosbergMercedes22.2073.22824
50Charles PicCaterham22.6993.7204
51Charles PicCaterham22.9864.00734
52Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso23.1474.1684
53Valtteri BottasWilliams33.79614.81722
54Pastor MaldonadoWilliams36.19617.21750
55Valtteri BottasWilliams45.69526.71654
56Mark WebberRed Bull162.042143.0638

2013 German Grand Prix

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    Images © Lotus/LAT, Red Bull/Getty

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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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    5 comments on “2013 German Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops”

    1. From an strategic point of view, wouldn’t it have been better to pit Grosjean for softs, to try harder to get the undercut so Grosjean could block Vettel while Kimi flew away, pitted and came in ahead of both?

      Even after all that happened, Kimi pitted and just needed 2.5 more seconds at hand to return ahead both Vettel and Grosjean.

      No givens on Grosjean being able to undercut Vettel with the softs, but just saying…

      1. @fer-no65
        There were still 20 laps left when Grosjean pitted though, if their aim was just to make Vettel stop again (therefore not wanting to leave it any later), then they didn’t really have a choice.

      2. wouldn’t it be better to let kimi stay out longer on first pit stop instead of pitting him behind two merc and losing time??

        hindsight is wonderful stuff

    2. From what I saw this is what happened during that awful stop, when the wheel gun man tried to fasten the wheel he saw that it wasn’t put on correctly and wanted it to be refitted, so the wheel removal man was waving to the the wheel fitter to do that, that started a chain reaction in which the rear jack man thought he was given the signal to drop the car leading to the front jack doing the same and releasing the car, it’s an unfortunate mistake and i don’t think a team should strive to do slower pitstops when something random like this happens once in 50 stops

    3. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      9th July 2013, 6:16

      Di Resta did 36 laps on a set of Mediums.

      People keep saying the Lotus is the kindest on it tyres. I beg to differ. I think the Force India is better on its tyres. Is only pitfall to the lotus is overall pace.

    Comments are closed.