Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Bahrain International Circuit, 2014

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

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F1F CSThe late appearance of the Safety Car in the Bahrain Grand Prix handed an advantage to any driver who had got their stint on the medium tyre out of the way earleir in the race.

Among those still to run the harder tyres was Lewis Hamilton, who thought Nico Rosberg would be able to pass him using the soft tyres. The 2008 world champion had to use every trick he knew to stay ahead.

The Safety Car also played into Red Bull’s hands as both their drivrs had used the medium tyre early. Sebastian Vettel had been one of only two drivers to start the race on it after qualifying outside the top ten.

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Bahrain International Circuit, 2014Only Ferrari, whose car seemed to lack performance whichever tyre they put on it, ran more than one stint on the medium. Fernando Alonso at least had the benefit of two fresh sets to finish the race on, but he and team mate Kimi Raikkonen came home last of the points-scorers.

The performance of Force India’s drivers seemed to inspire their pit crew into producing the fastest pit stop of the race. Nico Hulkenberg’s lap 35 stop was just 13 thousandths of a second quicker than the next best, performed by Ferrari, who had been the fastest team in the first two races.

Bahrain Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4Stint 5
Lewis HamiltonSoft (19)Soft (22)Medium (16)
Nico RosbergSoft (21)Medium (20)Soft (16)
Sergio PerezSoft (16)Soft (18)Medium (23)
Daniel RicciardoSoft (18)Medium (17)Soft (22)
Nico HulkenbergSoft (15)Soft (20)Medium (22)
Sebastian VettelMedium (16)Soft (18)Soft (23)
Felipe MassaSoft (13)Soft (15)Soft (10)Medium (19)
Valtteri BottasSoft (10)Soft (15)Soft (15)Medium (17)
Fernando AlonsoSoft (12)Soft (16)Medium (13)Medium (16)
Kimi RaikkonenSoft (13)Soft (20)Medium (8)Medium (16)
Daniil KvyatSoft (10)Soft (14)Medium (15)Soft (18)
Romain GrosjeanSoft (13)Soft (15)Medium (9)Soft (20)
Max ChiltonSoft (11)Soft (17)Medium (12)Soft (17)
Pastor MaldonadoSoft (19)Soft (20)Medium (1)Soft (17)
Kamui KobayashiSoft (15)Soft (20)Medium (22)
Jules BianchiSoft (10)Soft (3)Medium (18)Soft (9)Medium (16)
Jenson ButtonSoft (17)Soft (18)Medium (20)
Kevin MagnussenSoft (14)Soft (11)Soft (13)Medium (2)
Esteban GutierrezSoft (12)Soft (15)Soft (12)
Marcus EricssonSoft (11)Soft (15)Soft (7)
Jean-Eric VergneSoft (1)Medium (13)Soft (4)
Adrian SutilMedium (7)Soft (6)Soft (4)

Bahrain Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Nico HulkenbergForce India24.44035
2Kimi RaikkonenFerrari24.4530.01341
3Jenson ButtonMcLaren24.4760.03617
4Fernando AlonsoFerrari24.4930.05341
5Felipe MassaWilliams24.5280.08813
6Kevin MagnussenMcLaren24.5590.11925
7Felipe MassaWilliams24.5750.13538
8Fernando AlonsoFerrari24.5760.13628
9Kevin MagnussenMcLaren24.6110.17114
10Lewis HamiltonMercedes24.6870.24719
11Sergio PerezForce India24.6970.25716
12Daniel RicciardoRed Bull24.7060.26618
13Sergio PerezForce India24.7370.29734
14Nico HulkenbergForce India24.7570.31715
15Daniel RicciardoRed Bull24.8160.37635
16Nico RosbergMercedes24.8510.41121
17Nico RosbergMercedes24.9070.46741
18Sebastian VettelRed Bull24.9640.52416
19Kimi RaikkonenFerrari25.0090.56913
20Romain GrosjeanLotus25.0320.59228
21Valtteri BottasWilliams25.0400.60010
22Valtteri BottasWilliams25.0680.62825
23Lewis HamiltonMercedes25.1460.70641
24Romain GrosjeanLotus25.1920.75213
25Jenson ButtonMcLaren25.2450.80535
26Adrian SutilSauber25.2930.8537
27Daniil KvyatToro Rosso25.3400.90024
28Daniil KvyatToro Rosso25.3450.90539
29Marcus EricssonCaterham25.3670.92711
30Jules BianchiMarussia25.3830.94340
31Pastor MaldonadoLotus25.3950.95519
32Kimi RaikkonenFerrari25.4150.97533
33Esteban GutierrezSauber25.5431.10312
34Kevin MagnussenMcLaren25.5721.13238
35Esteban GutierrezSauber25.6331.19327
36Romain GrosjeanLotus25.6931.25337
37Jules BianchiMarussia25.7561.31610
38Fernando AlonsoFerrari25.7701.33012
39Marcus EricssonCaterham25.8191.37926
40Max ChiltonMarussia25.8581.41811
41Jules BianchiMarussia25.8661.42631
42Felipe MassaWilliams25.8961.45628
43Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso25.8971.45714
44Valtteri BottasWilliams25.9801.54040
45Max ChiltonMarussia25.9811.54140
46Daniil KvyatToro Rosso26.0641.62410
47Sebastian VettelRed Bull26.1861.74634
48Pastor MaldonadoLotus26.4402.00039
49Kamui KobayashiCaterham26.6282.18835
50Kamui KobayashiCaterham27.1242.68415
51Max ChiltonMarussia27.2332.79328
52Jules BianchiMarussia29.7295.28913
53Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso33.8959.4551
54Pastor MaldonadoLotus34.2499.80940
55Adrian SutilSauber40.74716.30713

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

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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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11 comments on “2014 Bahrain Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops”

  1. Was Sutil planning to do an 8-stop race based on the first two stint lengths?

  2. Mercedes have had to dig very deep to solve their tyre issues from last year for which they suffered lots of humilation and I think it had paid off handsomely this season. Not only have they been very fast, they have had the least degradation on their tyres.

  3. If i was to be hyper critical of the Mercedes team i would say that their decision to put Nico on the medium for the second stint was intended to keep the two cars apart for as long as possible. Maybe they didn’t fancy their chances of bringing two cars home if it was 57 laps of side by side racing.

    But also, i don’t see how Nico’s strategy was supposed to pay off. As i understand it, the medium tyre was between 0.5-0.7 secs per lap slower so the best strategy would be to keep the soft for as long as possible. Nico did 21 laps at the start (on full fuel) so he should have been able to do at least the same at the end, meaning his medium stint should have been 15 laps at most. They couldn’t have gambled on a safety car, so why did he do 20 laps on the medium? Maybe the performance difference wasn’t as big as expected? I just don’t see how he would have had a chance to win the race without a safety car, despite seemingly being a little faster than Lewis when both were on the same tyre at the start.

    1. i thought he might be trying to one-stop, but that definitely wouldn’t have worked based on the gap hamilton had pulled before the safety car.

      1. Having now read the press conference it seems they had planned this strategy before the race (presumably in the event of being jumped at the start). But still doesn’t explain why he spent so many laps on the medium, unless as you said he was trying to one stop, but that was never mentioned so i assume wasn’t viable.

    2. I believe they didn’t expect Lewis to have a 10 second gap by the time second pitstops arrived.

      1. I’m not sure, they said the performance deficit was less than expected, so surely they could of only predicted a larger gap? I thought they were trying to go long enough to smash in 10 good (almost qualy) laps in clean air to close the gap to Hamilton and pass.
        Sounds easy on paper doesn’t it!

        1. That might be the case as well. Or they might have expected Lewis’ tyres to go off earlier than Rosberg’s and hence the gap to be smaller

  4. I really thought Nico was going to try a one stopper. After hearing the team tell Nico that they we’re going to an alternative strategy when he lost the lead at the start. At the rate he seemed to let Lewis pull away after the first stint, I thought he was trying to hit delta times and not worry about running with Hamilton at that point. It would have been a lot of laps on this medium tires, but maybe Nico could have pulled it off. Dunno.

  5. Lewis was faster all weekend, only a small error at turn one on final Q3 lap screwed up another pole for him.
    Even without the safety car Nico had this 10 second gap to make up but he would not have got past Lewis. That is a certainty, because he was unable to pass him with new softs and the gap wiped out by the safety car. Lewis is just faster.

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