Aggressive two-stop plan helps Raikkonen to fourth

2014 Belgian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

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Four-time Belgian Grand Prix winner Kimi Raikkonen was expected to have a strong race at Spa-Francorchamps and so it proved – fourth was his best result of the year so far.

He was holding on to a podium position with five laps to go thanks to an aggressive two-stop tyre strategy. He made his first pit stop as early as lap eight – the same lap Nico Rosberg made his first of three pit stops.

For Ferrari this had the beneficial effect of taking Raikkonen out of some of the more fraught battles for position, allowing him to run near to his optimum pace. He also finished ahead Fernando Alonso, beating him for the first time this year as his team mate picked up a five-second penalty due to his mechanics lingering too long on the grid at the start of the race.

“We had decided to tackle this race more aggressively, making an early stop to get ahead of the cars that had yet to pit and that meant I was able to stay with the leaders for much of the race,” Raikkonen explained.

However it left him vulnerable to Valtteri Bottas at the end of the race, who was running a more conventional two-stop strategy.

“When Bottas in the Williams began to close on me, I knew I didn’t have the speed to defend on the straight and with a few laps to go, he managed to pass me.”

Belgian Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

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

Belgian Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Kevin MagnussenMcLaren22.41423
2Jenson ButtonMcLaren22.5880.17429
3Daniel RicciardoRed Bull22.6750.26127
4Sebastian VettelRed Bull22.7310.31722
5Valtteri BottasWilliams22.7690.35512
6Sebastian VettelRed Bull22.8000.38610
7Jenson ButtonMcLaren22.8000.38613
8Kimi RaikkonenFerrari22.8190.40521
9Romain GrosjeanLotus22.8380.42413
10Kimi RaikkonenFerrari22.8580.4448
11Esteban GutierrezSauber22.8980.48430
12Daniel RicciardoRed Bull22.9130.49911
13Nico RosbergMercedes22.9360.52219
14Fernando AlonsoFerrari22.9740.56025
15Sergio PerezForce India22.9770.56322
16Lewis HamiltonMercedes23.0660.65217
17Kevin MagnussenMcLaren23.1150.70111
18Valtteri BottasWilliams23.1760.76228
19Sebastian VettelRed Bull23.1900.77634
20Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso23.2020.78829
21Felipe MassaWilliams23.2240.81035
22Esteban GutierrezSauber23.2590.84514
23Nico RosbergMercedes23.3920.97834
24Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso23.5711.15715
25Adrian SutilSauber23.7321.31834
26Max ChiltonMarussia23.7341.32011
27Adrian SutilSauber23.7551.34111
28Adrian SutilSauber23.7791.36521
29Nico HulkenbergForce India23.8231.40910
30Nico HulkenbergForce India23.8411.42730
31Jules BianchiMarussia23.9181.50423
32Felipe MassaWilliams23.9451.5319
33Daniil KvyatToro Rosso24.0821.66810
34Marcus EricssonCaterham24.0831.66911
35Felipe MassaWilliams24.0831.66921
36Sergio PerezForce India24.1041.6909
37Marcus EricssonCaterham24.2131.79924
38Daniil KvyatToro Rosso24.4362.02224
39Romain GrosjeanLotus24.5692.15527
40Lewis HamiltonMercedes24.7572.34331
41Max ChiltonMarussia24.8732.45929
42Jules BianchiMarussia25.3622.9481
43Lewis HamiltonMercedes25.5803.1662
44Fernando AlonsoFerrari28.9206.50612
45Romain GrosjeanLotus29.2566.8421
46Nico RosbergMercedes29.9977.5838

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

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Author information

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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12 comments on “Aggressive two-stop plan helps Raikkonen to fourth”

  1. Was there a strong reason to make Vettel change the medium tyres to soft, after only 12 laps? Or was it just a bad call/strategy from the team? I believe he lost there the chance to fight for a place in the podium.

    1. It seemed to me watching that Vettel struggled with his tyres all race. Not particularly surprising, given how minimal his dry-weather running had been during practice. I imagine he had to use Ricciardo’s data to set his own car up and then compromise that setup somewhat for wet qualifying. Not ideal, especially given it seems that he and Ricciardo tend to drive the car differently.

      To be on the podium he would have had to fight Bottas, and I don’t think he had the pace to do that.

      1. @yes-master
        Vet ran Ric settings for tires , hence he couldn’t extract the grip like Ric was.

        1. @kartik

          Do you have a link for that? I’d be really interested to read a little more about it, but none of the (small number) of F1 sites I read has covered that aspect yet.

        2. Bookgrub, kartik, that would explain it. And in that perspective, he probably should have decided to maintain the soft tyres in the 2nd pit stop and change to medium only in the 3rd. And, yes, there was Bottas, who was quite faster then him. So, in the end, the chances would still be less then 20%. Vettel needs to do more and better. But somehow I can’t imagine him doing it this year.

    2. @yes-master – Vettel had some troubles either with the car or his setup respectively both.
      He was constantly 1s down in S2 compared to RIC on equal tyres so I’d say he just couldn’t get the tyres or the car working in the same way RIC did in the downforce sections and due to sliding had probably a higher degradation rate.

      1. @tmf42, I think some light has been brought to this matter: Team principal Christian Horner said Vettel’s form was so unusual at Spa that he suspects something was broken on the car.

  2. Glad to see Raikkonen have a bit better race today. At least they tried a different strategy, maybe it did help. He was ahead of Bottas until the tires faded. At least he had a chance to drive well on a track he performs well on.

  3. @keithcollantine, ? How did MB change ROSs wing without loseing more time ?

    1. OK, see it down the bottom.

  4. Sutil is actually stupid, he had the prime tyres, he should’ve stayed out an extra 5-10 laps, so that costed him 12th-13th for Sauber.

  5. ColdFly F1 (@)
    31st August 2014, 18:04

    Did Bianchi do 22 laps on the softs (on a full tank)?
    That would be amazing, longer than what all but KR did on the mediums (on emptier tanks)!

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