Sebastian Vettel said it was not Ferrari’s plan to react to Lewis Hamilton changing his strategy during the Spanish Grand Prix.
A slow first pit stop for the Mercedes driver allowed Vettel to keep him behind as they began their second stints. But Ferrari decided against reacting when Hamilton made an early second pit stop, changing his strategy in a bid to get ahead of Vettel.
“We were on two stops, Lewis was on three stops, so I think covering him would have been difficult,” said Vettel after the race.
“Obviously in the first stop, I guess we reacted because Lewis has such a poor stop – I don’t know what happened to him – so we were able to cover him. That was a nice invitation and we took it. After that, as I said earlier, him pulling in so early was clear he’s diverting, or going on a three stop, which was not our plan today, so we stayed out.”
Vettel doubted Ferrari could have overcome Mercedes’ performance advantage by trying to keep track position over Hamilton. “All in all, they were probably a little bit too quick to really put more pressure on them,” he said.
However Ferrari did perform some of the fastest pit work of the race – three of their pit stops were among the four quickest of all.
Spanish Grand Prix tyre strategies
The tyre strategies for each driver:
|Stint 1||Stint 2||Stint 3||Stint 4|
|Nico Rosberg||Medium (15)||Medium (30)||Hard (21)|
|Lewis Hamilton||Medium (13)||Medium (19)||Hard (19)||Medium (15)|
|Sebastian Vettel||Medium (14)||Medium (26)||Hard (26)|
|Valtteri Bottas||Medium (15)||Medium (27)||Hard (24)|
|Kimi Raikkonen||Medium (17)||Hard (24)||Medium (25)|
|Felipe Massa||Medium (14)||Medium (18)||Hard (15)||Medium (19)|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Medium (13)||Medium (29)||Hard (23)|
|Romain Grosjean||Medium (15)||Medium (25)||Hard (25)|
|Carlos Sainz Jnr||Medium (14)||Hard (28)||Medium (23)|
|Daniil Kvyat||Medium (11)||Medium (27)||Hard (27)|
|Max Verstappen||Medium (13)||Hard (24)||Hard (28)|
|Felipe Nasr||Medium (12)||Medium (27)||Hard (26)|
|Sergio Perez||Medium (19)||Hard (17)||Medium (29)|
|Marcus Ericsson||Medium (18)||Medium (27)||Hard (20)|
|Nico Hulkenberg||Medium (10)||Medium (16)||Medium (23)||Hard (16)|
|Jenson Button||Medium (11)||Hard (16)||Medium (17)||Medium (21)|
|Will Stevens||Medium (16)||Medium (16)||Hard (15)||Medium (16)|
|Roberto Merhi||Medium (17)||Medium (13)||Hard (19)||Medium (13)|
|Pastor Maldonado||Medium (14)||Medium (1)||Medium (28)||Hard (2)|
|Fernando Alonso||Medium (21)||Hard (5)|
Spanish Grand Prix pit stop times
How long each driver’s pit stops took:
|Driver||Team||Pit stop time||Gap||On lap|
|9||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Toro Rosso||22.178||0.416||42|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull||22.273||0.511||38|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India||22.426||0.664||36|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||22.440||0.678||13|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India||22.468||0.706||19|
|16||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||22.534||0.772||26|
|17||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||22.545||0.783||49|
|20||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||22.607||0.845||37|
|23||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||22.659||0.897||10|
|24||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull||22.667||0.905||11|
|28||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Toro Rosso||22.859||1.097||14|
|38||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||24.396||2.634||13|
|42||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||24.884||3.122||42|
2015 Spanish Grand Prix
- Solid Spain win earns Rosberg Driver of the Weekend
- Catalunya serves up another Spanish GP to forget
- 2015 Spanish Grand Prix team radio transcript
- Top ten pictures from the 2015 Spanish Grand Prix
- Vote for your 2015 Spanish GP Driver of the Weekend
8 comments on “Copying Hamilton’s strategy “not our plan” – Vettel”
10th May 2015, 18:31
I think Mercedes’ pit stops are quite poor compared to Ferrari’s, and that’s quite a disadvantage now that they are racing them. Also, although I can understand Mercedes’ decision to try the undercut, it effectively ended Hamilton’s race against Rosberg, as Hamilton could not go off-strategy anymore, and would have older tyres than Rosberg.
I wonder if Mercedes considered going a bit longer with Hamilton in the first stint, that way he could have attacked Vettel with different and/or fresher tyres. Now, with the failed undercut, they had less than nothing: still stuck, and on older tyres.
Mercedes were lucky that Ferrari did not try to cover Hamilton (what did they have to lose?), and perhaps they could have stayed ahead at least for the third stint, as Hamilton pitted from 1.7s back, and had a slow 3.4s pit stop. Once Hamilton was in clear air, second place looked easy for him (although I did not expect he could simply come out ahead of Vettel).
10th May 2015, 19:15
Without that 5.6s stationary pit stop for Lewis (or whatever it was) vs the 2.3-ish stop for Vettel, I think Lewis would have successfully undercut Vettel at the first pit stops, and there would have still been a race for first. I believe he came out about 2s behind Vettel, despite his pit stop being over 3s slower.
But it seems to me that there would have been not much chance for Lewis to beat Nico even if he had got a good start and closely followed him throughout the race. Overtaking just seems very difficult this year – the turbulent air seems to have a much more significant effect on the following car’s aero performance than last year (perhaps due to the lower noses), and Barcelona is a tricky track to overtake at anyway – Nico couldn’t overtake Lewis here last year despite seemingly being faster and shadowing him closely, and the dirty air situation seems worse this year.
We saw Lewis following Seb for half the race, unable to overtake despite a pace advantage of probably close to a second a lap early in the stint, and we saw a similar thing with Raikkonen stuck behind Bottas. There was also Vettel being stuck behind Bottas in Bahrain. The turbulent air greatly reduces aero effectiveness and therefore grip, so the following car has to use less throttle out of corners otherwise they will get wheelspin/snaps of oversteer, and so it is extremely difficult to get a better exit and overtake on the following straight. This reminds me of the Brazil last year, where the dirty air meant Hamilton dropped back in the downforce-reliant sector 2 and compromised his exit so he was too far away to make a move on the pit straight.
There was overtaking in today’s race of course, but it only really seemed to happen when a car had a significant tyre advantage (softer compound or much fresher tyres) or straight-line speed advantage.
10th May 2015, 18:31
Top 10 in pit stop times: 3 Ferrari’s, 4 Williams’s, 2 Mercedes’s
10th May 2015, 23:31
And one of Toro Rosso’s!
11th May 2015, 8:21
Why did Toro Rosso use OPP on Ves? He’s the only one using two Prime sets. No wonder he couldn’t defend at the end.
11th May 2015, 14:21
Good catch, strange.
2nd June 2016, 0:03
May be couldn’t get the mediums work.
11th May 2015, 16:04
He also lost a combined 3 seconds in the pits compaired to SainzJR.
Still about 3s ahead of SainzJR but lost time by letting the leaders through in a bad place (T2-T3) which put the Spaniard on Verstappens tail.
Whatever the case, SainzJR outqualified and out raced Verstappen. I think its now 3-2 in Quali and 3-2 in races (counting Bahrain for VES as he only retired later) in favor of the Spaniard.
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