Sainz salvages a point from the pits

2015 Monaco Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

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Carlos Sainz Jnr was amazed to claim the final point for tenth place despite having started from the pits.

The Toro Rosso driver ran the longest stint of any driver during the race, ekeing out the set of soft tyres he had fitted on lap 12 for the remaining 66 laps.

“To start from the pit lane in Monaco, on my debut, and to cross the line in P10 feels like a victory,” he said.

“It was a very good race from the team in terms of strategy and tyre management. We worked for it very hard and completed a super long stint on the soft tyre.”

While Lewis Hamilton’s switch to a set of super-soft tyres during the Safety Car period cost him victory, it was a strategy employed by several other teams including Red Bull (Daniel Ricciardo), Force India (Sergio Perez), McLaren (Jenson Button), Sauber (Felipe Nasr) and Williams (Felipe Massa).

2015 Monaco Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3 Stint 4
Nico Rosberg Super soft (37) Soft (41)
Sebastian Vettel Super soft (36) Soft (42)
Lewis Hamilton Super soft (38) Soft (27) Super soft (13)
Daniil Kvyat Super soft (28) Soft (50)
Daniel Ricciardo Super soft (36) Soft (29) Super soft (13)
Kimi Raikkonen Super soft (37) Soft (41)
Sergio Perez Super soft (36) Soft (28) Super soft (14)
Jenson Button Super soft (35) Soft (29) Super soft (14)
Felipe Nasr Super soft (18) Soft (46) Super soft (14)
Carlos Sainz Jnr Super soft (12) Soft (66)
Nico Hulkenberg Soft (1) Super soft (30) Soft (47)
Romain Grosjean Super soft (17) Soft (61)
Marcus Ericsson Super soft (14) Soft (24) Super soft (31) Super soft (9)
Valtteri Bottas Soft (14) Super soft (42) Super soft (22)
Felipe Massa Super soft (1) Soft (38) Super soft (23) Super soft (15)
Roberto Merhi Soft (35) Super soft (41)
Will Stevens Soft (33) Super soft (43)
Max Verstappen Super soft (29) Soft (17) Super soft (16)
Fernando Alonso Soft (32) Super soft (9)
Pastor Maldonado Super soft (5)

2015 Monaco Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

Driver Team Pit stop time Gap On lap
1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 24.177 37
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 24.181 0.004 38
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 24.244 0.067 65
4 Felipe Massa Williams 24.395 0.218 62
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams 24.412 0.235 56
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 24.501 0.324 36
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams 24.641 0.464 14
8 Jenson Button McLaren 24.661 0.484 64
9 Sergio Perez Force India 24.733 0.556 36
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 24.758 0.581 31
11 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 24.789 0.612 37
12 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 24.851 0.674 36
13 Felipe Massa Williams 24.970 0.793 39
14 Jenson Button McLaren 25.062 0.885 35
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus 25.077 0.900 17
16 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 25.119 0.942 28
17 Sergio Perez Force India 25.119 0.942 64
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 25.234 1.057 69
19 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso 25.306 1.129 12
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 25.398 1.221 38
21 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 25.495 1.318 65
22 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 25.618 1.441 14
23 Felipe Nasr Sauber 25.732 1.555 18
24 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 25.736 1.559 46
25 Felipe Nasr Sauber 26.420 2.243 64
26 Roberto Merhi Manor 27.554 3.377 35
27 Will Stevens Manor 28.606 4.429 33
28 Fernando Alonso McLaren 30.345 6.168 32
29 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 34.773 10.596 1
30 Felipe Massa Williams 42.934 18.757 1
31 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 52.821 28.644 29

2015 Monaco 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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13 comments on “Sainz salvages a point from the pits”

  1. I really hope Sainz doesn’t get overshadowed by the whole “Verstappen is only 17” kind of comments. He is doing a sterling job so far.

    1. Carlos was driving an invisible race….not bad not good

      He was quite lucky there were some problems with cars in front of him

    2. Well, he got a point thanks to Verstappen today ^^

    3. maarten.f1 (@)
      24th May 2015, 20:50

      The hype seems very much to be about Verstappen. But both drivers are doing a really good job and I’m sure all the teams are keeping a close eye on both of them.

    4. Agreed — I think Sainz is actually doing a better job than Verstappen. I’m sick of the hype surrounding Verstappen.

  2. From what is emerging around the web, it seems team initially wanted to keep Lewis out, but he got nervous at the prospect of Nico and Vettel getting new tires, so he suggested to the team they should pit him.

    Basically, he was in the lead, and whatever he did, Nico and Vettel would do the opposite. Can’t really blame the team. He was a victim of an unfortunate safety car, and perhaps of his own defeatist attitude as soon as the race restarted.

    1. Looking at it, 5 out of 10 cars that were in the top 10 decided to pit. So you can’t even really call it a bad strategy call. There was apparently 50/50 chance that any of the cars behind him would pit. And he felt that way too, which made him nervous, thinking about defending the position on the old tires, and ultimately contributed to that pit call.
      He was also the only one of those 5 who pitted from the top 10, who actually lost a place.

    2. Mark Hitchcock
      24th May 2015, 20:44

      He got nervous because he saw on the big screen that the Merc mechanics were in the pitlane and thought that meant Nico and Vettel had stopped for new tyres so he had to cover them. The team were the ones who ultimately made the call to stop him. If they thought it was the wrong decision they should have told him to stay out.

    3. Apparently what Hamilton said was that his tyres were going off a bit, and he asked the team if he should pit – key word here is “should”.

      Basically Hamilton was asking if he had enough of a buffer to be able to pit and comfortably maintain the lead. Mercedes led him to believe that he did, and so he pitted with full confidence in the team, only to emerge behind Vettel and Rosberg.

      If you have enough of a buffer to pit without risking the lead under a safety car, it makes sense to use that lead and do the rest of the race with grippier tyres, instead of risking going into the barrier with worn/cold tyres.

      Mercedes apparently “miscalculated” the gap, presumably unaware that Lewis would catch the safety car and therefore lose a bit of his lead before he pitted.

      It should also be mentioned that Hamilton was stationary for 4.1s in the pit (1.3s slower than his earlier pit stop) as Ericsson delayed his release – without that he would’ve emerged in front of Vettel, and maybe Rosberg.

    4. Can’t blame the team? You enter in every single topic and say the same thing.
      Even the team said they are to blame.

  3. The one thing that was worrying is that he spend a great deal of the first part of the race behind ericsson and the pitstop put him right behind ericsson again! I know it’s monaco, but you have to overtake these guys which are at least 1 sec slower. Still, he is a great driver and will grow.

  4. Had to make my first comment here after this whole Mercedes strategy blunter… after watching the whole race and the after the race comments I don’t understand Hamilton’s comments. He said the team wanted him to stay out, but he felt he should pit because he was afraid of being on the “wrong” tire at the restart as he saw the pit crew on the TV screens and though ROS had/would pit for the super soft, but how could he saw the pit crew on the screens before telling the team he wanted to pit? The pit crew doesn’t get out unless the pit wall says so, and the pit wall initially told him to stay out… So he couldn’t have seen the pit crew before he asked the team to better pit him.
    My opinion on this case. It looks similar to the Silverstone qualifying last year, Lewis misjudged the SC situation and wanted to have the better tires advantage in the last laps, the strategists calculated the gap vs pit stop time and thought it was OK if the pit stop was “normal”. The pit wall decided (after discussions) that it was OK to pit, the pit crew was not so well prepared (definitely they thought they are done with the stops for today) and made a not-so-fast pit stop, another 1-1.5 sec was lost as Ericsson was passing on the pit lane as the result HAM exited the pits behind ROS and VET. So, I don’t think it was an issue of the strategists, and the team bosses didn’t do any good in blaming the team and apologizing to Lewis before analyzing the details. For me the blame for the whole situation is 50% driver, 50% team principal, both for misjudgment (the pit-stop was unnecessary in any case, don’t try to get an advantage were you already have a big one – the best car), and the responsibility for the outcome: 60% team principal (didn’t call off the pit despite having more that 1 min time to think and all the info), 30% driver (yes he didn’t had all the info, but had lack of confidence and with his experience should have kept position with 13 laps remaining), 10% team crew (slow pit stop, not first time for Merc crew). I think Wolff and specially Lowe should question themselves more i this case, and put more work into getting the race aspects of the team into a better shape!

  5. Mercedes know they have the drivers and constructors championship won whether Lewis or Nico wins the drivers.Are viewers too naive to realise they will do anything to spice up what will be a boring title race.Remember the old saying ‘no publicity is bad publicity’.

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