Ricciardo’s middle stint hints at Red Bull potential

2015 Chinese Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

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Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Shanghai International Circuit, 2015Last year in China most drivers avoided using the soft tyres, but this time several teams tries using the more aggressive compound in the middle of the race.

They included Ferrari, who were able to make the tyres last well during practice, and Mercedes, who ran better on the medium tyre but were wary of covering off the threat from Ferrari.

However it was Daniel Ricciardo who ran the longest stint on the soft tyres as he recovered from a poor start when his car went into anti-stall mode. He made it back up to ninth place, a further sign Red Bull’s chassis has the potential to become a competitive proposition once its engine and braking problems have been sorted.

Chinese Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4
Lewis HamiltonSoft (14)Soft (19)Medium (23)
Nico RosbergSoft (15)Soft (16)Medium (25)
Sebastian VettelSoft (13)Soft (17)Medium (26)
Kimi RaikkonenSoft (15)Soft (19)Medium (22)
Felipe MassaSoft (13)Medium (21)Medium (22)
Valtteri BottasSoft (14)Medium (21)Medium (21)
Romain GrosjeanSoft (12)Medium (20)Medium (24)
Felipe NasrSoft (10)Medium (21)Medium (25)
Daniel RicciardoSoft (14)Soft (22)Medium (20)
Marcus EricssonSoft (14)Soft (16)Medium (25)
Sergio PerezSoft (11)Soft (15)Soft (15)Medium (14)
Fernando AlonsoSoft (12)Medium (23)Soft (20)
Jenson ButtonSoft (14)Soft (18)Medium (23)
Carlos Sainz JnrMedium (19)Soft (20)Soft (16)
Will StevensSoft (16)Medium (22)Soft (16)
Roberto MerhiSoft (17)Medium (23)Soft (14)
Max VerstappenSoft (12)Medium (20)Medium (20)
Pastor MaldonadoSoft (11)Medium (22)Medium (16)
Daniil KvyatMedium (15)
Nico HulkenbergSoft (9)

Chinese Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes22.23533
2Sebastian VettelFerrari22.4440.20930
3Kimi RaikkonenFerrari22.4530.21834
4Pastor MaldonadoLotus22.4700.23511
5Nico RosbergMercedes22.4830.24815
6Sebastian VettelFerrari22.4880.25313
7Daniel RicciardoRed Bull22.6350.40014
8Lewis HamiltonMercedes22.6450.41014
9Kimi RaikkonenFerrari22.8180.58315
10Sergio PerezForce India22.8290.59411
11Nico RosbergMercedes22.8290.59431
12Daniel RicciardoRed Bull22.8970.66236
13Pastor MaldonadoLotus22.8990.66433
14Valtteri BottasWilliams23.0840.84914
15Sergio PerezForce India23.1440.90941
16Felipe MassaWilliams23.1450.91013
17Fernando AlonsoMcLaren23.2381.00312
18Max VerstappenToro Rosso23.2581.02332
19Jenson ButtonMcLaren23.2731.03832
20Felipe MassaWilliams23.3171.08234
21Sergio PerezForce India23.3381.10326
22Fernando AlonsoMcLaren23.3451.11035
23Felipe NasrSauber23.4091.17410
24Romain GrosjeanLotus23.4211.18612
25Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso23.4241.18939
26Valtteri BottasWilliams23.5821.34735
27Romain GrosjeanLotus23.6051.37032
28Felipe NasrSauber23.7321.49731
29Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso23.7951.56019
30Marcus EricssonSauber23.8461.61114
31Jenson ButtonMcLaren23.9361.70114
32Will StevensManor24.0541.81938
33Roberto MerhiManor24.0881.85340
34Will StevensManor24.1321.89716
35Max VerstappenToro Rosso24.2562.02112
36Marcus EricssonSauber24.5892.35430
37Roberto MerhiManor25.9383.70317

2015 Chinese Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    16 comments on “Ricciardo’s middle stint hints at Red Bull potential”

    1. He was on average 2sec slower than Ham who was going 1sec slower than he could. I don’t see how that hints at their potential.

      1. Andre Furtado
        13th April 2015, 20:26

        I agree, for the speed that he was doing, I don’t see how he was not saving tires.

      2. Never locking brakes might have helped as well.

    2. I think that is more an illustration of a very good racing driver outperforming his package than any evidence of a midseason Red Bull resurgence. Let’s see how they fair come the European rounds; surely the combined might of Red Bull and Renault will eventually start to tell.

      1. How you can outperform your package? :O

        1. Ask your girlfriend.

          1. hahaha sharp)))

    3. I think Alonso’s final stint was more impressive and showed potential. I know Merc had time in hand but he was within half a second of them consistently.

    4. He used his best trick from last year : excellent usage of his tyres.

      But unless Renault bring their A game for Spain onwards, he won’t be capable on doing much. The guy is legit and very good, but his car is handicaped on the straights, and different from last year, now he is almost alone at that.

    5. I don’t agree, as I argued here, Red Bull chassis is worse than Toro Rosso. The brake problem isn’t as bad in China as in Malaysia so sorting it wont give that much improvement I think. To be honest Sainz is doing better job than Ricciardo except for the spin (his fault) and gearbox problem (not his fault). He set the 3rd fastest lap too.

    6. Those stats reflect nothing on the race itself. That car looked horrible on track and the other one blew up. Everyone questioned Seb, but he knew! The teams glory days are behind them. I personally think RBR will leave the sport before they reign again. Poor Dan maybe he can follow Seb and take Kimi’s seat when he’s done.

    7. “Red Bull’s chassis has the potential to become a competitive proposition once its engine and braking problems have been sorted.”
      Dan said no more problems with breaks. But his overtaking attempts in China were just amusing. Not sure what’s happening with the guy. Looks like half a man from last season.

      1. That is what happens when you car is below expectation and you have ambition that counters your car’s ability. You try to push it too much and that ends biting you back. Hamilton had a similar experience in 2011. He wanted too much from his car because Red Bull was so strong that he ended up not driving very cool.

    8. you could probably have taken the softs full race distance if you ran them slow enough. The tires are engineered to work at certain limits, and the limit of the tires kept Vettel or Nico from getting any where near the guy in front of them in the race. If you ask me Pirelli have gone soft this year, in order to slow down Merc, and in the process they have made it almost impossible to push the tires outside the limit for any real meaningful amount of time.

    9. Red Bull have always been decent on tyres – so can make long stints work….
      but that generally means suffering the undercut, and playing the game that you can make moves later on fresher tyres.

      Unfortunately with a marked top speed and power disadvantage, the Bulls will simply be unable to overake even the middling Merc teams.

      After an absolutely horrible start, Daniel drove well, but a Redbull with low top speed, but good tyre usage is only good in one spot – and that is leading the race from start to finish (much like Vettel over the Red Bull good period)… Start with a middling car that can’t overtake, and you have a very long year,

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