Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2015

Pirelli deflects tyre criticism after one-stop race

2015 Canadian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

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Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2015Pirelli was quick to respond to suggestions that its tyre selection has become too conservative after most drivers made just a single pit stop during the Canadian Grand Prix.

Aside from the rain-affected 2011 race, every Canadian Grand Prix in the ‘Pirelli era’ has seen most drivers making at least two pit stops. This has been a target for F1’s official tyre supplier.

“As we expected, given the specific characteristics of this circuit, tyre wear and degradation was extremely low on both compounds today, with an extremely stable product,” said Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery.

“This can lead to some criticism, as the goal is to have more than one pit stop per race. With only four tyre specifications available, sometimes it does become difficult to provide the perfect choice for every situation.”

As Hembery pointed out, the race wasn’t without some variety on the pit wall. Both Ferrari drivers pitted twice, and drivers like Felipe Massa and Max Verstappen who qualified ‘out of position’ differed from the rest by starting the race on the harder soft compound tyre.

But as in Monaco concerns remain that Pirelli’s softest mix of tyres is harder than it needs to be. The same allocation of soft and super-soft tyres will be used for the next round in Austria.

2015 Canadian Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3
Lewis HamiltonSuper soft (29)Soft (41)
Nico RosbergSuper soft (30)Soft (40)
Valtteri BottasSuper soft (28)Soft (42)
Kimi RaikkonenSuper soft (26)Soft (14)Super soft (30)
Sebastian VettelSuper soft (7)Soft (28)Soft (35)
Felipe MassaSoft (37)Super soft (33)
Pastor MaldonadoSuper soft (17)Soft (53)
Nico HulkenbergSuper soft (28)Soft (41)
Daniil KvyatSuper soft (27)Soft (42)
Romain GrosjeanSuper soft (27)Soft (22)Soft (20)
Sergio PerezSuper soft (24)Soft (45)
Carlos Sainz JnrSuper soft (27)Soft (42)
Daniel RicciardoSuper soft (23)Soft (46)
Marcus EricssonSuper soft (28)Soft (41)
Max VerstappenSoft (39)Super soft (30)
Felipe NasrSuper soft (26)Soft (42)
Will StevensSoft (34)Super soft (13)Super soft (19)
Roberto MerhiSoft (35)Super soft (22)
Jenson ButtonSoft (44)Super soft (10)
Fernando AlonsoSuper soft (31)Soft (13)

2015 Canadian Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Nico RosbergMercedes23.32130
2Sergio PerezForce India23.4530.13224
3Nico HulkenbergForce India23.5070.18628
4Fernando AlonsoMcLaren23.5530.23231
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari23.6300.30926
6Pastor MaldonadoLotus23.6600.33917
7Daniil KvyatRed Bull23.6810.36027
8Lewis HamiltonMercedes23.7080.38729
9Felipe MassaWilliams23.9120.59137
10Sebastian VettelFerrari23.9450.62435
11Daniel RicciardoRed Bull23.9970.67623
12Marcus EricssonSauber24.1490.82828
13Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso24.2770.95627
14Romain GrosjeanLotus24.2920.97127
15Kimi RaikkonenFerrari24.5781.25740
16Felipe NasrSauber24.7951.47426
17Jenson ButtonMcLaren25.3742.05344
18Valtteri BottasWilliams25.5412.22028
19Roberto MerhiManor26.9863.66535
20Sebastian VettelFerrari27.2413.9207
21Will StevensManor30.8077.48634
22Max VerstappenToro Rosso36.10512.78439

NB. No times are available for Romain Grosjean and Will Stevens’ second pit stops (laps 49 and 47 respectively) as both ran wide on the entrance to the pit lane and failed to cross the detection loop at the pit entry line on the way in.

2015 Canadian 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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30 comments on “Pirelli deflects tyre criticism after one-stop race”

  1. I remember about two or three races ago everyone saying, oh yeah lets get Michelein in as they want tyres that can do a full race and get Pirelli out because their tyre degrade, come to Canada and it’s a one stop, oh pirelli are crap their tyres are too durable, hang on a minute ago you wanted tyres that lasted the full race, that’s another problem with F1 is the fans are undecided on what they actually want, one minute its something then the next its something completely different

    1. Thank you. I’m totally confused…we’ve all been griping that the tyres go off and stop “good racing”. Now that they work, we’re going to complain? Seriously??? Please stop.

    2. @bezza695 The supersoft should not be able to do 50% of any race, whilst the hardest should not be able to do 80% of any race. In the end they should pick the option per race so it could last 30%, and a prime that could go 55%, so if you really save them you can do a one-stop but if you go aggressive on a option-prime-option you would also be faster but have to overtake more. Get DRS out of the picture and BAM. Good races. The other two should be somewhere in between. I wonder had Rosberg gone for a two stopper (twice on the ss) had he caught Hamilton. Quite sick of him trying to replicate Hamilton whilst it is not working at all, he’ll finish second thanks to the car so why not try something different.

    3. COTD!!! Seriously the “fans” nowadays aren’t happy with nothing. The tires are bad, the cars are bad, the races are all bad (despite having overtakes and tension along the field, minus the obvious top 2 in Canada).. I just can’t understand, if everything is so bad and you can’t find any positivity in the races, then just don’t follow the sport anymore. F1 never had awesome races every weekend. That’s why some of them are called “classic races”!!!

      1. +1. i thought it was a pretty good race. it did get a bit dull after it became clear that hamilton was just managing the gap, but there was decent racing throughout the field. i feel some of the current criticism is due to the changing nature of sports audiences who demand the “classic” races every time. it’s impossible!

        however, DRS has to go. i cringe when it gets switched on because you always see passing in the opening 2 laps. massa and vettel had enough straightline speed to make most of those passes, but would have had to work for them.

    4. +1. In short you can never satisfy everyone. If you want drivers to go flat out as that’s what they meant to do, then fans will crib about how boring and one sided season it is. Common!

    5. You’re spot on.
      The tyres were perfect in this race, no one should be complaining.

  2. Pirelli make the tires the FIA ask them to make, what’s the problem?

  3. Pirelli should change their motto to “Pirelli, the rubber that gets criticized in every condition”.

    I still wonder why they keep showing up. They are the ones that should give the finger to everyone and leave.

    1. Feel sorry for Pirelli, they provided unpredictable tyres, and they were criticised for making it a lottery. They provide tyres that can last, but the engineers tell drivers not to push, and Pirelli are now too conservative.

  4. More stops just makes the race messy and impossible to follow. It’s like having fireworks and flamethrowers while the race or match is going on (another recent rubbish invention). One stop, with a few drivers doing two, is how a Grand Prix should be.

    Anyway Vettel’s strategy was interesting – they seemed to bring him in early before he got stuck behind other cars. A wise move judging by how his move on Hulkenberg went – he cut the corner and could easily have ended up in the wall.

    1. He was allowed to go over yellow things. He did it because he thought Nico was too fast and he was gonna crash into him. It wasn’t because he was too fast and couldn’t do the chicane.

  5. I’d like to see the mid-2000s tires plus the current fuel regulations. Remove pit stops entirely (except for car damage) so all the passing happens on track.

    1. Mr win or lose
      8th June 2015, 8:25

      I like the theory, but I don’t think it’s a wise idea to ban tyre stops altogether. 2005 has shown that there may be safety issues when drivers damage their tyres and they’re not allowed to change them (remember Räikkönen’s last-lap crash due to a flat-spotted tyre).

  6. If the tyres were durable enough, then the artificial need for pitstops to “improve the show” could be dropped, that would force drivers to make passes on the track and prevent teams from placing their drivers on traffic-free parts of the track where they can cruise around at the optimal speed/fuel-use delta and bore us all to sleep.

    1. more or less what we got really this race @hohum. Apart from the cast that DRS made it too easy to pass all Renault engined cars and this race showed the cars really need those 100 kg if there is no SC in Canada.

  7. Regarding the question why Kimi was put on super softs at the end, maybe with the extra pitstop time added Ferrari figured out it would be almost impossible to catch and overtake Bottas and there was no clear threat from the behind either. So they may have thought putting him on quicker tyres could help him in case something (i.e. SC) happened. Or Kimi just preferred that compound?

  8. Yeah 40 laps on the soft tire and 30 on the super-soft were pretty ridiculous. Personally the super-soft should have been the prime tire and another even softer compound (super super-soft perhaps) should have been used for the option.

  9. With only four tyre specifications available, sometimes it does become difficult to provide the perfect choice for every situation.

    It’s not like you had other choices after your new super-soft compound proved to be hard as ice… So, basically, there is every chance a similar situation will arise (i. e. formerly two-stop races converting into one-stoppers) when there will simply be no room to go softer… Good job, Pirelli.

  10. I think this years super softs are a bit too hard. OTOH, I can understand Pirelli’s plight. People asked ‘more durable tyres’, so Pirelli gave what they wanted. The problem is teams are not willing to push any harder. They still coast and now make less pitstops. (Wonder if slowing down pit lane speed limits might contributed to it, too.) Also with the handicap of not being able to predict race weekend weather beforehand, finding the sweet spot seems very tricky. Narrow working window and too fragile when close behind a car are fundamental issues though.

  11. So people criticise when the tyres fall apart and criticise when they don’t. That just shows me that so many F1 fans have no idea what they want. The tyres we saw yesterday where stable as performed well for a long period, just what most people say they want and almost what we had in the Bridgestone era. This constant criticism of F1 is becoming a bit of a joke now.

  12. it is a joke because half the people watching F1 seam to have no idea what they want,

    1. @lethalnz, it seems that younger fans can only comment on the basis of the F1 that was happening and has happened since they started watching F1, so you get statements like ” F1 always was about re-fuelling and tyre management, they should not make stupid changes to it”, all I can do is say to them watch that 1970 video fro yesterdays roundup, great wheel to wheel racing, no pit stops.

  13. This joke of a situation, when fans don’t seem to know what they want, comes from the overal directionless state of the sport. The governing body, the strategy group, the fans – it looks like NO ONE in this sport has any clear idea on how to manage it long-term. It’s all talking and minor tweaking and then more talking. It’s stagnation at its best. The entire community is helplessly stuck in the mud.

    1. zimkazimka i agree, we are getting mixed messages from the sporting body and Bernie running down F1, plus the likes of Honer saying Morc is too over powering along with Marko saying he is going to pull out of F1,

      when ever they change format there is normally one team that manages to get it right first up and they dominate for a few season, but there is a limit to how long they can manage to stay out in front, other teams always manage to catch up, we are seeing that happen right now, Ferrari are staying with Merc’s development at the moment, just wish McLaren/Honda would pull finger, Renault engines need a swift kick as well, but it will happen Merc can only move so far then it will be back to business for all involved.

      as for the tires the older generation have seen it all before, regardless of all the yelling and screaming, we now have tires that let most cars push hard when needed, that is all you can ask from them.

  14. Interestingly, the timing beams failed to notice either Grosjean’s or Stevens’ second stop after they didn’t follow the usual route into the pits.

  15. I have nothing against Pirelli. They made the tyres this way because they were asked to. Occasionally they get the tyre selection wrong but any manufacturer would do that from time to time. I think they should have a larger gap between tyres. Instead of using Super Softs and Softs. Why not Super Softs and Mediums? It will stop people like Mercedes gaining an advantage. in qualifying. Lower teams will have a chance to pounce on people like Mercedes if they take a risk and try to get through qauli on the hardest tyre. If a team some how manages to make the softest tyres last longer than everyone else then good on them! The only downside I see to this is drivers will moan more. There will be a clear difference in strategies on track. People on the softer tyre will clearly and visibly have more grip than the people on the harder tyre. I think it would create more overtaking.

  16. Anyone know why Lotus didn’t put Grosjean on the super-softs when he came in with the flat at the end?

    He only had to do 20 laps on that final set and he had done 27 on the first set, with heavy fuel. I have to believe even a set with three or four laps on them from qualifying would have been able to last the remaining distance with the car’s lighter end-of-race fuel load. Would they really have been slower than unused softs?

    1. they were so surpised by him coming in, that they just grabbed the first set they found in front of them,
      had he sustained the puncture at the hairpin and they had time to assess the situation i am sure they would have put him on supersofts

  17. We can’t rip Pirelli for their tyres lasting too long when the drivers were going round well within their limits looking after fuel use. The Pirellis famously struggle when loaded in both directions at once but at Canada there’s hardly any lateral loading and the braking zones were nearly doubled in length by the amount of lift and coast so no wonder they held up so well.

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