2016 Bahrain Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2016 Bahrain Grand Prix

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There was little to no agreement among strategists about what was the best approach for the Bahrain Grand Prix. The 17 drivers who saw the chequered flag used 14 different strategies.

While a three-stop strategy was preferred by most, the combinations of tyres chosen to get there varied hugely.

Most teams quickly sussed that the medium tyre was not the way to go. Williams committed to it early on with both cars and paid a high price. Having run second and third at the start they fell to eighth and ninth at the flag. However it bears pointing out that Valtteri Bottas had a drive-through penalty for his collision with Lewis Hamilton, and Felipe Massa was struggling with his car’s balance due to a new front wing.

Haas took the most aggressive approach, for Romain Grosjean, using three sets of super-soft tyres at the start of the race (the first two of which were new) and then softs for the final stint. This allowed him to race aggressively in traffic and take maximum advantage of the substantial performance benefit the ‘undercut’ offers in Bahrain.

It was a risky stategy for Haas as it put pressure on their pit crew to turn around three rapid stops despite not having previously done any in a race situation (Grosjean made his mandatory tyre change under red flag conditions in Australia). They never got within a secondand a half of the quickest complete time and a particularly slow last stop cost Grosjean almost six seconds.

Nonetheless he was still able to bring the car in a remarkable fifth place – a testament to another sharp strategy call by F1’s newest team.

2016 Bahrain Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4Stint 5
Nico RosbergSuper soft (13)Soft (17)Super soft (9)Soft (18)
Kimi RaikkonenSuper soft (12)Soft (17)Super soft (8)Soft (20)
Lewis HamiltonSuper soft (13)Medium (15)Super soft (13)Soft (16)
Daniel RicciardoSuper soft (6)Soft (18)Soft (18)Medium (15)
Romain GrosjeanSuper soft (11)Super soft (16)Super soft (13)Soft (17)
Max VerstappenSuper soft (10)Soft (16)Medium (20)Super soft (11)
Daniil KvyatSoft (16)Soft (18)Super soft (10)Super soft (12)
Felipe MassaSuper soft (7)Medium (22)Medium (27)
Valtteri BottasSuper soft (8)Medium (26)Soft (22)
Stoffel VandoorneSuper soft (9)Soft (16)Soft (16)Super soft (15)
Kevin MagnussenSoft (12)Super soft (12)Super soft (14)Super soft (18)
Marcus EricssonSoft (13)Soft (16)Medium (27)
Pascal WehrleinSoft (11)Soft (18)Super soft (12)Super soft (15)
Felipe NasrSoft (10)Soft (20)Medium (17)Super soft (9)
Nico HulkenbergSuper soft (1)Soft (15)Medium (19)Super soft (16)Super soft (5)
Sergio PerezSuper soft (2)Super soft (12)Soft (23)Super soft (19)
Rio HaryantoSoft (12)Soft (19)Medium (13)Super soft (12)
Carlos Sainz JnrSoft (2)Medium (18)Soft (9)
Esteban GutierrezSuper soft (8)Super soft (1)
Jenson ButtonSuper soft (6)

2016 Bahrain Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Felipe MassaWilliams24.0937
2Daniil KvyatRed Bull24.2240.13144
3Felipe MassaWilliams24.2360.14329
4Kevin MagnussenRenault24.3410.24838
5Kevin MagnussenRenault24.3830.29024
6Daniil KvyatRed Bull24.4190.32616
7Lewis HamiltonMercedes24.5120.41913
8Sergio PerezForce India24.5170.42437
9Lewis HamiltonMercedes24.5240.43141
10Daniel RicciardoRed Bull24.5410.4486
11Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren24.6040.5119
12Daniil KvyatRed Bull24.6610.56834
13Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren24.6820.58925
14Kimi RaikkonenFerrari24.7200.62712
15Nico HulkenbergForce India24.7340.64135
16Marcus EricssonSauber24.7750.68213
17Daniel RicciardoRed Bull24.8790.78642
18Nico HulkenbergForce India24.9300.83716
19Nico RosbergMercedes24.9340.84113
20Valtteri BottasWilliams24.9440.8518
21Lewis HamiltonMercedes25.0300.93728
22Sergio PerezForce India25.0680.97514
23Max VerstappenToro Rosso25.1291.03646
24Kimi RaikkonenFerrari25.2221.12929
25Kimi RaikkonenFerrari25.2571.16437
26Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren25.3161.22341
27Marcus EricssonSauber25.3631.27029
28Pascal WehrleinManor25.4191.32641
29Felipe NasrSauber25.4911.39830
30Rio HaryantoManor25.5171.42444
31Pascal WehrleinManor25.5471.45429
32Max VerstappenToro Rosso25.5941.50126
33Felipe NasrSauber25.6601.56747
34Romain GrosjeanHaas25.7391.64611
35Nico RosbergMercedes25.7611.66839
36Max VerstappenToro Rosso25.8101.71710
37Valtteri BottasWilliams26.1102.01734
38Romain GrosjeanHaas26.1512.05827
39Pascal WehrleinManor26.2362.14311
40Felipe NasrSauber26.2462.15310
41Rio HaryantoManor26.3822.28912
42Nico HulkenbergForce India26.5952.50251
43Daniel RicciardoRed Bull26.6312.53824
44Kevin MagnussenRenault26.8762.78312
45Nico RosbergMercedes27.2263.13330
46Rio HaryantoManor28.1204.02731
47Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso28.4014.3082
48Romain GrosjeanHaas30.0635.97040
49Sergio PerezForce India30.3266.2332
50Nico HulkenbergForce India31.9317.8381
51Esteban GutierrezHaas32.7938.7008
52Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso34.97810.88520

2016 Bahrain 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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14 comments on “2016 Bahrain Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops”

  1. Williams really messed up the strategy here, sadly not for the first time, the medium tyre was the worst tyre to be on, and Massa was on it for two stints.

    On the other hand, as a Williams fan I’m really glad to see their pit stops are better than last year, two of the top three is great. Well done Williams.

    1. Their pitstops were very good indeed.
      This race the Williamses seemed quite hard on their tires, just like the previous years. So maybe they switched them to the mediums to trade tire longevity for speed, which was clearly not the right strategy (though in Australia it worked quite well for them).
      This year’s tire rules are great because they allow drivers who are kind on their tires to try really aggressive strategies, like Grosjean did. He managed to keep the supersoft tires alive and he was rewarded with a tremendous race pace.

  2. 4 stops for Hülkenberg? What were they thinking?

    1. Hülkenberg had to pit on lap 1 after damaging his front wing in a collision. He was effectively on a 3-stop-strategy. Perez also damaged his front wing just one lap later and was thus effectively on a 2-stop-strategy. Neither strategies worked very well for them. Once they had caught up with the field they ruined their tyres in traffic.

  3. I do wonder if Verstappen would have pitted around the same time as Grosjean he could have cached him. Grosjean did win a lot of time with the undercut. Not sure why Massa went medium – medium.

    1. As in Melbourne, the strategy kind of robbed Max of a better result. They probably hoped to get to the end by using the mediums he put on at the second stop, but ended up pitting again very late for supersofts.

      I don’t get why Torro Roso keeps trying to use tire-managing strategies for Max, when he is such a great overtaker. He proved again that if he is on the fastest tire available, he can make his way through slower cars on different strategies with ease.

  4. Friendly suggestion…
    Any chance the tyre strategy table above could have some sort of colour coding for the different compounds to make for easier reading?

    I’m enjoying the choice of three tyres, but really wish they would drop the ‘must use at least one designated compound’ rule.

  5. Arnoud van Houwelingen
    4th April 2016, 1:58

    i didn’t like the strategy of Toro Rosso at all. Why go on medium tyres after the second pitstop and after that mistake they pitted Max too late for his last stint on super softs. Max could have been fifth with a better strategy.

    1. Every and each race we gonna love this exciting MaxX even more..

    2. Think it’s because they didn’t bring enough of the right tires. Max said something about str being caught out in Bahrain because they had to make the choice so early and they chose wrong.

  6. So if Romain lost 11-12 seconds in the pits and a 13.x gap to Ricciardo at the flag… With solid pit stops he may have been able to fight for 4th.

  7. It seemed obvious to me that three stop with as many super softs as possible would be the optimum. It’s the fastest tyre, and everyone was doing three stops anyway. Surprised no one else spotted it.

  8. correct Charlie, Haas already is making aggressive strategy that other teams wouldn’t even compentake,

    good on em its results like that which will wake others up.

    the tire rules are great to keep us interested in F1, it works fine for me.

  9. I am trying to find out the time for each f1 circutes (from start of the pit lane to the end of the pit lane) and then try and work out the pit-crew stop time (example: 2.09sec). could you please let me know, I’ve been trying for months looking on the internet to find them without any success.
    Please reply. Many many thanks.

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