Webber’s first stint led to strategy change – Horner

2013 Japanese Grand Prix

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Mark Webber, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2013Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said Mark Webber’s switch to a three-stop strategy was chosen after he used up more of his tyres in the first stint and had to pit earlier.

Webber’s strategy helped him pass Romain Grosjean in the closing stages but also dropped him behind Sebastian Vettel, who won.

“The whole race was dictated by the first stint,” Horner told Sky after the race. “Mark went through the tyre a little bit quicker than Sebastian and therefore didn’t have the range.”

“So we had to pit Mark and that put an awful lot of pressure and doubt on the two-stop. So when the window opened up to do a three-stop it was the only option we could see to get our way past Romain.”

Vettel had already passed Grosjean quickly following his pit stop but Webber took several laps to pass the Lotus.

“Unfortunately the time he lost behind Grosjean didn’t enable him to hunt down Sebastian over those last few laps,” said Horner, adding the prospect of his drivers fighting for victory in the final laps “would have been uncomfortable but they would have been free to do over the remaining laps”.

“The order doesn’t matter so long as your cars are one-two in the race,” Horner added.

Horner said Vettel got past Grosjean more quickly than they expected: “Theoretically if Sebastian hadn’t passed Grosjean, Mark would have caught them very quick and potentially was on the better, softer tyre at that stage.”

“So we were expecting our drivers to be right together over the last four or five laps. But Sebastian went past Grosjean quicker than we expected and Mark just took a few more laps with the traffic and the backmarkers that were in the way.”

Vettel has a strong chance of winning the drivers’ championship at the next race but Horner said Red Bull will tackle it like any other grand prix:

“Our approach in India will be just the same as here. it’ll be to go for it, try and get the win and see how things pan out. We can’t determine how others do we can only focus on ourselves.”

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    Keith Collantine
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  • 81 comments on “Webber’s first stint led to strategy change – Horner”

    1. Was pretty clear when he pulled out extremely fast laps after the first stop. I heard Merc said that they were committed to a 3 stopper from the get go – so it was obviously a lot closer between 2 and 3 stops than from what we heard yesterday.

    2. Brace yourselves for the wave of commenters saying Red Bull are conspiring against Webber (as Keith alluded would happen on Twitter)…

      1. +1 Another Feather in the Cap for the Vettel Nay Sayers… they might be rejoicing at the prospects of the conspiracy theories….

        But all said and done Webber is someone who calls a Spade a Spade. they cant make him smile like Lotus did Roman in the last race. If he felt his race was sabotaged it would have clearly come out in the Podium given that he know very well that he has nothing to lose !!!!! he seems pretty cool and happy on the podium So i would trust Webber more than anyone in this matter.

        BTW if Webber had got past Roman like Vettel did he would have won the race easily….

        1. He did say to Sky after the race that he was told the two-stop was still on at the time of his first stop. And Will Buxton tweeted that Mark came “close” to saying that his team had screwed him out of the win with the strategy. So it’s not all clear cut.

          However I think it was his failure to pass Grosjean quickly that cost him the potential win, rather than his strategy.

          1. @red-andy – strange, right after the pit stop he took a lot of life out of the tires. If he thought he’s on a 2 stopper than he’s pretty oblivious to tire wear.

          2. I actually can’t believe more people are not seeing it. Reb Bull deployed the same tactics from a couple of years ago that helped Vettel clinched the title in the final round. Change Webber’s strategy and force the others to watch him while Vettel does his thing. It was always going to be tough for R. Grosjean to watch and defend from two guys on two different strategies. So Red Bull tells Vettel to keep it cool and give himself space, to save tires of course, then calls Mark in and later Grosjean follows. Now Vettel with life still left in his tires is doing laps in free air, and that was very important for his lap times. And on the second stop, same story, Grosjean goes in and Vettel manages to stay within reach but still saving his tires. That enabled him to stay longer and have fresher rubber for the final stint when he overtook Grosjean. Horner claims that the whole race strategy was dictated by the first stint. Well then, why didn’t he call Vettel to put him on 3rd since he was behind Webber? And why change Webber when he hasn’t fallen that much behind? After all, remember Vettel was one place further back.

            1. Well Vettel had saved tyres, that’s why he could just about do a 2 stopper. People seem insistent on blaming this 3 stopper on MW not winning the race, but it was a perfectly viable strategy, he just couldn’t pass Grosjean quickly enough, when Vettel did it easily.

              In Abu Dhabi 2010, MW had no other choice than to change strategy. It was an attempt to repeat what he did in Singapore, whihc gained him a bunch of places. Otherwise he would have sat in 5th and Alonso may have won the title.

      2. +@vettel1, well it makes a good story but the reality is Webbers race was lost at the 1st.cnr. saving tyres behind Grosjean was always going to ruin his strategy of running away at the front and having the straight line speed to defend.

      3. @vettel1 Well actually it makes sense that RB employed a hidden teamorder to ensure Vettel had a chance of winning the race should Alonso have crashed out during one of his many scraps out there today. Just because RB comes up with a pretty story doesn’t make it true.

        Red Bull was smart enough to trick their own driver into thinking that strategy would work, which anyone who watched the Friday practice sessions would know to be a pretty dumb idea. Why not employ a team order? They are legal now. Ah, but off course that would mean telling MW to back off and let fingerboy trough and also attracting a lot of bad image to the team and Vettel (who has recently received unjustified booing). An extra pit stop would ensure Vettel got trough and a better strategy in the end delivered the result they needed in case something went wrong with Alonso

        It silly Red Bull insists on making F1 a farce when you have such a lead in both the constructors and drivers championships. I’m not saying Vettels victory was unjustified but I certainly didn’t like the way RB handled it but in the end it makes nothing but sense, a chance of winning the title on the hometurf of titlesponosr Infinity was probably the main reason behind the decision.

        1. And so they begin!

          1. @f1rollou Not wanting to generalize here, but why are Alonso fans so prone to finding conspiracies everywhere? It’s because Alonso has been involved in the two biggest scandals of the last 6 years? Or just because Vettel is beating him?

            Not wanting to generalize here, but it always seems to be the Alonso fans. It’s especially evident in the Spanish media/comment sections.

            1. I would have thought the same thing if it was Hamilton fighting Vettel for the championship instead of Alonso because i am not convinced that the three stop was the faster strategy. That’s why nobody opted for it.

            2. Totally ad hominem and adding nothing to the discussion. The point here is, did a 3 stop strategy make any sense for Webber? I believe it made sense for RBR’s (they were racing Romain and got him) and of course for Vettel’s, but not for Webber. I am not thinking of any anti-Webber conspiracy, but of a clever and successful anti-Grossjean move.

            3. @Hyoko I would like to call it Pro-Vettel rather than Anti-Webber to be more precise. It doesn’t sound good to me because Webber was ahead on track. If RBR wanted to do it, they would have done Ferrari’s way but this is hypocrisy.

            4. @Hyoko I’ve added enough to this discussion already, so I can allow myself to be a bit curious. It was a simple question, after all, not an insult in any way :-)

            5. Also, to answer you question: did it made sense for Webber? Well, at the end, he did pass Grosjean, didn’t he?

            6. Also, to answer you question: did it made sense for Webber? Well, at the end, he did pass Grosjean, didn’t he?

              Touché, you got a point here, Webber did pass Grosjean. But i’m dissapointed, i wanted to see him win. And it’s not only the 3-stop strategy that did him in. Had he been able to overtake Grossjean right after the last pitstop (or early in the race) he still might have won. So he also has himself to blame.

        2. @force-maike It may well be true but to be honest Red Bull are well within their rights to do it. Webber was not going to help Seb so the best solution was to put him on an unfavourable strategy to Vettel. Vettel won, Webber got 2nd, no controversy, perfect result for them.
          Webber knows what happened as well:
          Andrew Benson ‏@andrewbensonf1 1h
          Gary Anderson wondering aloud if Red Bull deliberately put Webber on a three-stop to clear the way for Vettel

          Andrew Benson ‏@andrewbensonf1 1h
          WEB: “After 1st stop I was told it was a two-stop & then in the middle of stint we changed tactic. I asked if it would work, they said yes.”

          Will Buxton ‏@willbuxton 1h
          Pole sitter @AussieGrit was close to admitting the team screwed him out of the win today when he spoke to us. Great battling drive to P2.

          1. @brum55 I wasn’t intending to sound like they didn’t have the right to do so, I thought I proparly idicated that with the ‘it makes sense’ thing. However eventhough Webber pretty much admitted it the many Vettel fans here just always think their boy wins in the most honest fashion. Now as an Alonso fan I know when I see a driver beiing screwed over by the team, I saw it plenty of times with Massa. Red Bull tries to keep up this ‘we allow our dirvers to race’ attitude while in fact that is far but the truth. It is exactly that aspect about them I loathe, Ferrari have always screwed people over and they don’t act all secret about it.

            1. @force-maikel – Don’t misinterpret an inability to do the same pass as his teammate as “being screwed over by the team”.

            2. @force-maikel I’m curious, how exactly was he screwed over? He was behind Grosjean before, and thanks to the strategy, he was able to pass him.
              He was two seconds per lap faster than Vettel, with a 4.5 second gap after the pitstop, with 10 laps to go.

              Everything pointed out to he being able to fight for the win, with a much faster car. What exactly points out to him being screwed over?

              The only for that not happening is that he needed 8 laps to something Vettel needed 1 to. And that wasn’t the strategy’s fault.

            3. @silence He was forced to change his strategy half way through his second stint which effectively ceded track position to Vettel. They effectively got Webber out the way for a Vettel win.

            4. @brum55 – …Because he couldn’t look after the tyres. MW’s strategy gave him every chance to win, but he didn’t overtake Grosjean.

          2. @silence didn’t you read my post, or you just chose to ignore it?

        3. @force-maikel
          That 3 stop strategy might not have been ideal. I am quite sure the team knew that the optimum strategy was a 2 stop. But they had both their cars behind Grosjean and what use would the best strategy be if Grosjean could just cover both of them. Not splitting their strategies would have been a big mistake as
          splitting the strategy forced Grosjean to defend against Webber, thus forcing him to use his tyres more then he wanted. That meant he couldn’t go as long as Vettel towards the of the middle stint. And while Webber would end up a bit behind he would be on fresh option against Grosjean on somewhat old primes.
          The thing that makes the 2 stop in their case seem so much better was that Vettel only spend a lap or two getting around Grosjean.
          Webber had to take a lot more time to do the same thing.
          What everyone expected was Vettel to take a handful of laps before he could pass him, and Webber to pass him as soon as he got close to him.
          Had that actually been the case, then it would have been really close between the two towards the end of the race.
          I am certain that any decent team would have split their strategies as well, had they been in the same situation.

      4. It’s a valid point to raise. Only Red Bull really know whether they sacrificed Webber’s race for Vettel or not.

        But it’s not just people who don’t like Vettel who are raising the question – Gary Anderson on the BBC, hell, even German publications are calling it ‘suspicious’! (ref. Spiegel Online – ‘Red-Bull-Triumph in Japan: Doppelsieg durch verdächtigen Strategiewechsel’)

      5. (@vettel1) Do you believe everything Christian Horner tells you to think?

    3. Had Webber got a Good Start.. he would have had this race in his bag by lap one…….

      1. Actually both Red Bulls had a pretty bogging down start, both Hamilton and Grosjean blitzed them, that was until Hamilton cuth his own tyre on Vettels front wing.

        1. @force-maikel Cut his tyre on Vettel’s front wing? That’s an odd way to look at it. I wasn’t aware Hamilton knew that Vettel was going to twitch a bit and decided it would be a hoot to ruin his race.

    4. The one who would have been justifiably miffed was Lewis Hamilton who got off the line more rapidly than the Red Bulls and was a near shoo-in for the lead until Vettel’s car nicked his right rear tyre.

      1. @ginola14

        Yeah, very unfortunate series of events for Hamilton there.

      2. It was just one of those unlucky days . No one to blame there . Lewis took the chance of going for it . Webber squeezed Lewis a bit and it was a chain reaction as Lewis swerved slightly to the left and Vettel had nowhere to go as he had grosjean on his left . Racing incident . Something like a cascade of sudden brakes in a road where the guy behind has lesser time to react in a chain of cars . What is annoying is that it was just a kiss of the wing and the pirellis bid goodbye to Lewis .

    5. Yeah and we are idiots, they changed Webber strategy on the fly to help Vettel.

    6. Pitting Webber a bit too early also made sense, kinda forcing Grosjean to pit in order to cover Webber’s strategy while keeping Vettel up for the win. Grosjean would have had a much better chance of winning today if he had pitted a few laps later. It reminds me a lot the way they used Webber in Abu Dabhi 2010 to make Alonso pit too early. This was a clever trick then and again now, and worked well for RBR and Vettel, even it it was at Webber’s expense. The difference is, they needed something like that in 2010 but not today.

      1. Or it could have been that Webber actually needed to pit earlier. You know, he has his own engineer in the pit for that.

        1. I guess we’ll never really know. But my point is, they didn’t do it just to screw Webber, which would be pointless. They did it to screw Grossjean, which makes a lot more sense, even if it got Vettel on top of Webber, which is also not bad for the team.

          1. Wait I just realized , Who is webber ? ;-)

      2. Oh wait, you atually think that in 2010 they risked Webber’s title to favor the driver with less chance.

        Yeah, that sounds totally reasonable.

        1. Well it worked just fine for them, didn’t it. With a plain vanilla strategy by RBR in Abu Dhabi, FA would probably won the WDC. And with a plain vanilla strategy today, it could have been Grossjean 1st, Webber 2nd, Vettel 3rd. So, not really worse for Webber but much better for RBR and Vettel.

          1. Didn’t it?
            Would probably have won

            Sorry, horrible typing

            1. @kuroi – Yes, Alonso would have won the title in Abu Dhabi, but Webber had no other choice but to pit at Abu Dhabi. They did so as the strategy worked out well for him in Singapore that year, where he salvaged a podium. The strategy gamble could have won Webber the championship, but his lack of progress compared to Singapore put an end to that.


            2. Thanks, an interesting article and a good read. But it doesn’t say anything about why Webber pitted so early (a damaged tyre?? trying to undercut Alonso?? any other reason??) so even if we accept it as absolutely truthful (and I see no reason to doubt it) still we don’t know if Webber was used as a gambit to undercut Alonso and get the WDC for Vettel.

            3. @kuroi – Because he wasn’t winning the title from where he was. The choice for Webber was a) stay out, pit when everyone else does, and likely make up no places, Alonso wins championship, or b) roll the dice, pit, do a Singapore and have a chance of the championship.

            4. Of course, the last chance saloon strategy didn’t work out for MW in hindsight.

          2. +1
            You hit the nail on the head.

            1. @f1rollout Didn’t you read all posts proving that wrong, or you just decided to ignore them?

            2. @TheBass The strategy which worked for Webber in Singapore 2010 was less likely to work for him in Abu Dhabi 2010 and RBR knew it. That was like one contender down. Lets see what the other does and that day Ferrari chocked and fell into the trap.

            3. @f1rollout

              The strategy which worked for Webber in Singapore 2010 was less likely to work for him in Abu Dhabi 2010 and RBR knew it.

              You’re only saying that in hindsight. If it was so obvious, then Ferrari wouldn’t have tried to cover him. Webber was not going to win the title from 5th place. His only chance was to roll the dice try what he did in Singapore, but as it turned out, it didn’t work for him.

      3. It reminds me a lot the way they used Webber in Abu Dabhi 2010 to make Alonso pit too early.

        Which didn’t happen. Go watch the official race edit of the race. Webber banged the wall with his rear tyre and damaged it. What were the team supposed to? Wait and see if he picked up a puncture? He kept losing time to Alonso, let alone making any progress. He needed to take a gamble to shake things up, which didn’t quite work out for him in the end. It’s amazing some people still believe this.

        1. Well, the more reason then for RBR to favor Vettel instead of Webber, even if he was a bit behind in the points.

          1. Forcing the things a bit too hard today, aren’t we.

            1. Maybe but please note I’m not accusing RBR of anything illegal, even in 2010 when TO were banned, so please don’t get too worked up over it, i’m just saying they were clever. And I can have my own opinion anyway ^_^

      4. Mr win or lose
        13th October 2013, 11:45

        @ Hyoko: My thoughts exactly. ;) Good strategies by Red Bull. Chasing Grosjean and confusing the Lotus strategists by Webber’s early pitstop and Vettel’s late pitstop. In the end Red Bull won. If only Ross Brawn had been this good this season…

    7. Well Yes, Webber may not had speed to challenge Grosjean. But was Vettel quicker than Webber in the first stint? I am not sure. What made RBR think Webber will be able to beat Grosjean and Vettel to this race by pitting there. I am not sure about this too. What i am sure about is that RBR made sure Webber gets outs of the way of Vettel and they exactly did that. Who opted for three stops in the top 10? And wasn’t it clear enough on Friday that two stop is the way to go?

      1. Webber spent to many laps following Grosjean closely during the first stint which unfortunately ruined his tyres, no conspiracy or hidden agendas on redbulls part

        1. @f1rollout @anele-mbethe

          Exactly. Look at the lap chart. Webber stayed behind Grosjean very closely (less than a second for the first 5 laps (despite Rennie telling him to keep a distance). Then his tyres started going off and he was losing time to Grosjean so he had to pit as he was losing 0.4 seconds every lap. Vettel kept a larger distance to Webber, which preserved his tyres and meant that he could go on for three laps longer. This is where it all started and which eventually meant that Webber had to switch to a 3-stop to get past Grosjean.

          I also don’t think that the stops would have come at a very different time had the 3-stop been planned from the beginning. Maybe the first stop a lap earlier, and he might have pushed a bit more after his first stop – but would he have been able to get by?

      2. @f1rollout Let’s think about this with a bit less Alonso fanatism/Vettel hate. What would have happened if Web went for two stops? We would have had to save the tyres more. So bigger gap behind Grosjean.

        Then what? trying to match him with older tyres? If he wasn’t able to pass him with newer ones, pushing, for 8 laps, what makes you think he would have been able to with older while saving them?

        1. Then Grosjean would have a fair chance to win this race. So RBR adopted a strategy which will ruin Webber’s race and give chance to Vettel to beat Grosjean which he did. But what i am saying is that 2 stops from Webber would have required Vettel to pass Webber on track. This victory is more down to good strategy and using 2nd driver to best effect than the driver winning it by all the effort. I am not saying Vettel doesnt deserve it i am just saying that Webber deserved better than this. And if RBR wanted to favor Vettel, they should have done Ferrari’s way and not by making Webber look bad.

          1. @f1rollout

            Then Grosjean would have a fair chance to win this race. So RBR adopted a strategy which will ruin Webber’s race and give chance to Vettel to beat Grosjean which he did.

            Huge contradition here. You accept that Grosjean would have likely won if they had made two stops for Webber, that means Webber would have ended second. Exactly like he did with the three stops. How exactly did they ruin his race, then?

            I am not saying Vettel doesnt deserve it i am just saying that Webber deserved better than this.

            When it was his time to show he deserved better, he didn’t.

            1. Your argument seems to be based that somehow Webber would have won. Which was, in no way, more likely with two stops, considering the gap before the stops and his inability to pass Grosjean on better tyres.

            2. I should have said “compromised” . By not giving him the chance to race Grosjean at the later part of the race. If three stops was the optimum strategy, RBR would have chosen it for Vettel who always gets the favor. It was certain that it will bring Vettel ahead of Webber and will give a chance to him beat Grosjean. RBR played cleverly but i expect them to be honest about it.

            3. By not giving him the chance to race Grosjean at the later part of the race.

              He did get that chance with the current strategy. All the theorist are forgetting to mention that with the three stops Webber did get better hand over Grosjean

            4. But not for the win. All i am saying is that it was the strategy and use of 2nd driver which made Vettel win this race not that Webber deserved the win.

          2. @f1rollout And whose fault is that he didn’t get the win? Not the strategy’s. He was two seconds per lap faster than Vettel, with a 4.5 second gap after the pitstop, with 10 laps to go. He just happened to need 8 laps to pass a much slower Grosjean.

            Sorry, no matter how you look it, the strategy was sound. He had the fastest car on the grid, the fastest tyres, the freshest tyres, with a relatively small gap and 10 laps. There’s nothing about that that signals a “compromise” of his race.

      3. This conversation is pointless.
        Vettel and Grosjean were on a 2 stopper. Vettel beat Grosjean fair and square through better tyre management and sticking a pass quickly.
        If Webber would stick to a 2 stopper he would still be behind Grosjean. Vettel would still get ahead as he would be last of the 2 stoppers and would be on fresher tyres.
        Vettel made the strategy work for him. Mark would have miserable pace if he had stopped only twice.

        1. I agree. RB has zero interest in preferring Vettel because they aren’t idiots and know that Vettel could sit out the remaining races and still win the championship. There’s no way Alonso can make up the points on his own, let alone with Vettel grabbing more every race. If Mark wanted the win, he should have led out of the first corner and managed his tires better. Then we’ll discuss his teammate’s strategy.

    8. Vettel heads red bull 1-2. Must be a conspiracy! RB changes it’s mind quite a lot it seems, yesterday they were sabotaging vettel’s kers and today they sabotaged webber’s race lol.
      Mark was attacking grosjean and in the process destroyed his tires, while vettel patiently sat behind waiting for his turn. Webber could never do a 2 stop because he’s much harder on tires than Seb as witnessed numerous times since pirelli came into f1.
      Good effort by gro to keep the RBs behind but he used too much fuel in the process and obviously had to run lean in the final stint, before parking his car at the end of pitlane. What goes around, comes around.
      Funny how mercs self-destructed. Hamilton driving into vettel was a racing incident as far as I see it. He thought he was already in front, much like grosjean in spa last year.
      Silly stuff in the pitlane forcing ros to do a drive trough, dropping him way down the field and then got stuck behind hulk who was doing a fantastic race.
      Alonso lucks into somewhat good position as usual.
      If anybody could hold RBs behind it was raikkonen, had he not botched qualifying yesterday. His fault entirely. Doesn’t seem like a bright future in ferrari with 2 less than optimal qualifiers in the team.

    9. My interpretation of why Webber committed to a 3-stop, @everyone.

      Webber spent much of the first stint following fairly closely in Grosjean’s wake – of course, bad for the tyres. Coupled with his usual “harsher” driving style relative to Vettel and he simply wasn’t able to keep the life in his tyres during the first stint. So instead, they decided to try and pit early to undercut Grosjean – Vettel being the one forced to stay out inevitably without track position after his stop.

      Since that also didn’t work, and he pitted two laps earlier, he was again putting more strain in his tyres and so was unlikely to be able to two stop by this point (even Grosjean to an extent struggled towards the end). So they pitted him earlier in the hope he’d close the gap to the two-stopping and more conservative Vettel quite quickly. That didn’t happen, so when Vettel came in for his last stop he didn’t come out very far behind Webber. Since also his pit stop was quite late (7 later than Grosjean IIRC), he was easy meat for overtaking. That also meant that Vettel had actually pretty fresh tyres, even compared to the three-stopping Webber.

      So when Webber pitted, Vettel had a decent gap in which to maintain. That was sealed when Webber failed to overtake Grosjean as quickly as Vettel did.

      No conspiracies, just superior tyre conservation and pace management from Vettel. I would bet against Webber having finished 3rd if he was on a two stop, as he seemed to chew his tyres more quickly than both Grosjean and Vettel.

      1. @vettel agreed . Webber should have pushed more in his second stint and should have passed grosjean early . Had he done both , he could have challenged Vettel .

        As someone said earlier above , Grosjean being on lean mix at the end maybe helped out vettel to pass him quicker than anticipated ( He would have passed him anyway but still ). Had grosjean held up vettel more we could have seen a 3 way fight till the end . But Romain did a fantastic job considering his car and tyres .

    10. @keithcollantine The key words are in the Autosport article: “We went in to the race thinking it was going to be marginal for a two-stop, but probably in clear air we could do that.

      “The first stint dictated everything for us though.

      “Mark put [Romain] Grosjean under quite a lot of pressure and went through the tyre phases pretty quickly to the point that he had run out of tyres by the lap he pitted on”


      Had Webber managed to stay in front of Grosjean he probably could’ve made a 2 stop work while in free air. It was clear to me by mid-race that MW lost it at the start. Again…

    11. Yet Redbull told Vettel he was racing Grosjean as they new Webber had been taken out of the equation.
      Does anyone honestly believe the team will throw away a race win for ther star driver?
      From the first stint
      , Vettel was already being prepared for the latter part of the race

    12. Vettel prepared his strategy carefully after turn 1, he ran longer in the first two stints in order to have a better chance at the end. After all, he had nothing to lose, so he was in a good position.

      Webber, on the other hand, had to stop earlier in the first stint. Maybe his tyres were finished, maybe he wanted to undercut Grosjean. All in all, pitting so early made perfect sense in his strategy.
      He could have gone with two stops, I agree. If he had, though, he probably would have done the same strategy as Grosjean. Passing Grosjean with the same tyres was not going to work. So, they tried something different. And guess what, it worked! Webber finished ahead of Grosjean and he had a good chance to fight for the lead before getting stuck behind Romain for eight laps.

      The thing is, Vettel prepared his last stint very carefully and very well. I find it difficult to believe that Webber could have finished ahead of him with a more conventional strategy.

      1. And guess what, it worked! Webber finished ahead of Grosjean and he had a good chance to fight for the lead before getting stuck behind Romain for eight laps.

        This is what all the people complaining about RB’s strategy seem to be ignoring.

    13. In my opinion, Redbull’s priority was Vettel, hence the quality of his pit commmunication. Winning the championship early, the team can fully focus on next year.
      Webber was just used to race Grosjean and wear out his tyres, which helps the priority car behind.

    14. Webber fan here.

      I was actually at the race and it was an awesome experience, better live than on TV. Can see much more going on.

      I have to say it was a little disappointed Webber didn’t win this race, because he probably had a better chance with a different strategy than what the team decided for him.

      This is the way i saw the race:

      After the start the it was Grosjean, Webber then Vettel. Looks like Vettel decided to save his tires and sit back while Mark was trying to attack Grosjean. Webber started to drop off a bit and probably had to pit early.

      After Mark’s 2nd stop, i was doing some timing calculations and could see that Mark would jump Grosjean. After everyone’s 2nd stop, Mark was way out in front. It was also clear that Vettel looks like he would be on a 2 stop strategy.

      I was waiting on the next pit stop and I thought maybe Mark might have a long final stint. Then I was surprised when they decided to pit Mark with about 10 laps to go. At this point I think I timed him at 14s ahead of Vettel and slightly more ahead of Grosjean. If Webber had stayed out, Vettel (Vettel was catching Mark at this stage) would of had to pass Mark but doubt Grosjean would have been able to pass Mark by the end of the race. Webber’s tires were about 3 or 4 laps older than Grosjean’s. So Red Bull would still had a 1 – 2 finish, as long as Webber and Vettel didn’t come together.

      If Red Bull really wanted to give Webber a chance to win, they would have let him stay out (maybe play the 2 stop strategy a bit better with a slightly longer middle and final stint) or pit him earlier for the 3rd stop. Webber has been put on some strange strategies that don’t seem to make sense (from Webber’s POV).

      People who say Vettel was able to pass Grosjean quickly where as Mark couldn’t. When Vettel passed Grosjean, Grosjean was quite slow and didn’t put a fight up anywhere as much as he didn’t against Webber. Grosjean needed to save his tires and probably didn’t wanted eat them up to much in this fight because he knew it would just be a matter of time before Vettel passes him.

      In the end Red Bull got the 1 – 2(or 3) via the safe option of pitting Mark 3 times. The team clearly favours one driver over the other but states they do not. We will probably not see any Red Bull battles anymore (I hope I am wrong).

    15. I’m sure I heard “M3 MULTI22” over Webber radio, we know what that means, lookng fwd for radio transcript !

      RB play lotus pit wall which seems never consider what to do if leading the race …….Lotus Strategy rob Grosjean win

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