2013 Indian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2013 Indian Grand Prix

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How did Romain Grosjean, who started 17th, end up racing team mate Kimi Raikkonen for the final podium place?

This all came down to which of the two drivers managed to make a one-stop strategy work. Grosjean’s failure to progress beyond Q1 ended up working in his favour as he was able to start the race on new tyres.

Both Lotus drivers started the race on the softer compound. But Raikkonen had used his during qualifying, while Grosjean’s were fresh.

Raikkonen also struggled to keep his brakes from overheating during the first part of the race. He pitted to get rid of his soft tyres on lap seven, leaving him with 53 laps to cover on the medium tyres.

He made little headway to begin with, passing Paul di Resta and Valtteri Bottas before the halfway point. As the lap charts show Lotus done as Red Bull did and given Raikkonen two stints on the medium tyres it would have guaranteed a loss of position to Felipe Massa and the Mercedes drivers.

Leaving him out at least gave him a chance of staying ahead of them, but in the final ten laps his tyres went off so quickly he was practically defenceless. The only driver he succeeded in holding up for any length of time – to Lotus’s understandable frustration – was his team mate.

Grosjean had been able to run almost twice as long on his new soft tyres at the start of the race as Raikkonen had on his used rubber. But Grosjean was also able to make the medium tyres last longer.

Looking at their lap times we can see that although Grosjean’s medium tyres were six laps newer than Raikkonen, his lap times only began to rise around nine laps later than Raikkonen’s had. And that may have been due to his team’s warnings about his engine temperature.

Grosjean’s advantage of starting on the newer tyres plus his slightly better management of the medium tyres made the difference. But Pirelli didn’t want any of the teams running stints as long as Lotus had.

Before the race Pirelli told teams not to run the soft tyre for more than 15 laps or the medium for more than 35. As the table below shows both Lotus drivers did, as did Adrian Sutil’s Force India.

Indian Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4
Sebastian VettelSoft (2)Medium (29)Medium (29)
Nico RosbergSoft (7)Medium (20)Medium (33)
Romain GrosjeanSoft (13)Medium (47)
Felipe MassaSoft (8)Medium (22)Medium (30)
Sergio PerezMedium (28)Soft (5)Medium (27)
Lewis HamiltonSoft (8)Medium (22)Medium (30)
Kimi RaikkonenSoft (7)Medium (51)Medium (2)
Paul di RestaSoft (1)Medium (29)Medium (30)
Adrian SutilMedium (41)Soft (19)
Daniel RicciardoMedium (33)Soft (5)Medium (22)
Fernando AlonsoMedium (2)Medium (28)Soft (6)Medium (24)
Pastor MaldonadoSoft (8)Medium (30)Medium (22)
Jean-Eric VergneSoft (1)Medium (25)Medium (33)
Jenson ButtonMedium (6)Soft (6)Medium (20)Medium (27)
Esteban GutierrezMedium (26)Medium (21)Soft (12)
Valtteri BottasMedium (31)Medium (18)Soft (10)
Max ChiltonMedium (29)Medium (23)Soft (6)
Jules BianchiSoft (5)Medium (28)Medium (25)
Nico HulkenbergSoft (5)Medium (28)Medium (20)Soft (1)
Mark WebberMedium (28)Soft (4)Medium (7)
Charles PicSoft (1)Medium (15)Medium (19)
Giedo van der GardeSoft (1)

Indian Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Felipe MassaFerrari23.33230
2Mark WebberRed Bull23.4590.12732
3Mark WebberRed Bull23.4870.15528
4Jenson ButtonMcLaren23.5170.1856
5Sergio PerezMcLaren23.5410.20928
6Lewis HamiltonMercedes23.5460.2148
7Sebastian VettelRed Bull23.5680.23631
8Lewis HamiltonMercedes23.5740.24230
9Felipe MassaFerrari23.5790.2478
10Fernando AlonsoFerrari23.5950.26330
11Romain GrosjeanLotus23.6480.31613
12Paul di RestaForce India23.6620.3301
13Nico RosbergMercedes23.6850.3537
14Jenson ButtonMcLaren23.7740.44212
15Adrian SutilForce India23.8910.55941
16Nico RosbergMercedes23.8950.56327
17Sebastian VettelRed Bull24.0000.6682
18Paul di RestaForce India24.0240.69230
19Fernando AlonsoFerrari24.0660.73436
20Nico HulkenbergSauber24.0960.7645
21Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso24.1280.79626
22Kimi RaikkonenLotus24.1410.80958
23Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso24.2320.9001
24Esteban GutierrezSauber24.4151.08347
25Max ChiltonMarussia24.4451.11352
26Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso24.4711.13938
27Jenson ButtonMcLaren24.7541.42232
28Max ChiltonMarussia24.7571.42529
29Nico HulkenbergSauber24.8341.50233
30Sergio PerezMcLaren24.9101.57833
31Jules BianchiMarussia25.3832.05133
32Pastor MaldonadoWilliams25.5302.1988
33Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso25.6082.27633
34Esteban GutierrezSauber25.6602.32826
35Valtteri BottasWilliams25.9092.57749
36Pastor MaldonadoWilliams26.3122.98038
37Charles PicCaterham26.9703.63816
38Kimi RaikkonenLotus26.9893.6577
39Valtteri BottasWilliams27.6194.28731
40Nico HulkenbergSauber29.0575.72553
41Charles PicCaterham29.0825.7501
42Fernando AlonsoFerrari29.8006.4682
43Jules BianchiMarussia33.93710.6055

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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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4 comments on “2013 Indian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops”

  1. Great drive by Romain. Does this mean FI are gettin back to the plave where they started their 2013 campaign? VJM06 being very kind on the pirellis and they can get longer stints and skip one pitstop with respect to.others? (like PdR did at Canada) If so great news for the team and they can atleast stay afloat of rampaging sauber of Hulk

  2. Mr win or lose
    28th October 2013, 11:38

    Didn’t Gutiérrez pit in lap 16?

    1. GUT was given a drive through for jump start

      1. Mr win or lose
        28th October 2013, 12:30

        Right. Thanks!

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