Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, Interlagos, 2016

2016 Brazilian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2016 Brazilian Grand Prix

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The Brazilian Grand Prix ran counter to the usual pit stop strategies we see in wet weather races.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2016
Brazilian Grand Prix in pictures
Normally drivers cannot discard the intermediate tyres quickly enough and the first to do so tend to benefit. But with rain falling constantly throughout the race those who stayed on the wet weather tyres tended to benefit. All ten points-scorers were on wets when the chequered flag fell.

In the case of the Mercedes drivers, the only time they changed tyres during the race was when the whole field was instructed to switch to the full wet compound during the first red flag period on lap 20. The same was true for others including Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz Jnr, both of whom finished in the top six.

As was the case in the two other wet races earlier this year, Kevin Magnussen was one of the first to make the switch to intermediate tyres. He gambled on them again at the end of the race but it didn’t pay off, leaving the Renault driver well outside the points.

2016 Brazilian Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4Stint 5Stint 6
Lewis HamiltonWet (20)Wet (8)Wet (43)
Nico RosbergWet (20)Wet (8)Wet (43)
Max VerstappenWet (13)Intermediate (7)Wet (8)Wet (15)Intermediate (11)Wet (17)
Sergio PerezWet (20)Wet (8)Wet (43)
Sebastian VettelWet (10)Intermediate (10)Wet (8)Wet (43)
Carlos Sainz JnrWet (20)Wet (8)Wet (43)
Nico HulkenbergWet (20)Wet (2)Wet (6)Wet (43)
Daniel RicciardoWet (13)Intermediate (7)Wet (8)Wet (12)Intermediate (12)Wet (19)
Felipe NasrWet (20)Wet (8)Wet (43)
Fernando AlonsoWet (9)Intermediate (11)Wet (8)Wet (43)
Valtteri BottasWet (9)Intermediate (11)Wet (8)Wet (10)Intermediate (33)
Esteban OconWet (20)Wet (8)Wet (43)
Daniil KvyatWet (9)Intermediate (8)Intermediate (3)Wet (8)Wet (43)
Kevin MagnussenWet (7)Intermediate (13)Wet (8)Wet (13)Intermediate (30)
Pascal WehrleinWet (20)Wet (8)Wet (24)Wet (19)
Jenson ButtonWet (8)Intermediate (12)Wet (8)Wet (6)Intermediate (10)Wet (27)
Esteban GutierrezWet (12)Intermediate (8)Wet (8)Wet (32)Wet
Felipe MassaWet (9)Intermediate (11)Wet (8)Wet (3)Intermediate (15)
Jolyon PalmerWet (9)Intermediate (8)Wet (3)
Kimi RaikkonenWet (19)
Marcus EricssonWet (9)Intermediate (2)

NB: The whole field came into the pits on laps 20 and 28 due to race stoppages. These have been omitted from the table below.

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2016 Brazilian Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Max VerstappenRed Bull24.04154
2Max VerstappenRed Bull24.1860.14513
3Jenson ButtonMcLaren24.1920.1518
4Kevin MagnussenRenault24.2650.22441
5Nico HulkenbergForce India24.2820.24122
6Max VerstappenRed Bull24.4350.39443
7Daniel RicciardoRed Bull24.5210.48052
8Daniel RicciardoRed Bull24.6230.58213
9Jolyon PalmerRenault24.6560.61517
10Valtteri BottasWilliams24.7240.6839
11Jolyon PalmerRenault24.7450.7049
12Jenson ButtonMcLaren24.7540.71344
13Fernando AlonsoMcLaren24.8210.7809
14Kevin MagnussenRenault24.9860.9457
15Valtteri BottasWilliams24.9940.95338
16Jenson ButtonMcLaren25.0060.96534
17Esteban GutierrezHaas25.1471.10612
18Daniil KvyatToro Rosso25.3551.31417
19Marcus EricssonSauber25.3951.3549
20Pascal WehrleinManor25.5091.46852
21Daniil KvyatToro Rosso25.7581.7179
22Felipe MassaWilliams29.4215.3809
23Daniel RicciardoRed Bull29.6215.58040
24Felipe MassaWilliams29.7545.71331
25Sebastian VettelFerrari29.9815.94010

2016 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Author information

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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4 comments on “2016 Brazilian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops”

  1. I got the impression everyone wanted to be clever when they started switching to intermediates so early. Didn’t really pan out how they hoped and possibly cost Vestappen a victory

  2. So, Mercedes got a 1-2 without making a single pit stop? Great going ..

  3. Red Bull are so often the masters of strategy. Today they were not. Not only did the pit a billion times for new tyres, they even managed to pit Daniel when the pit was closed!
    The last round of tyre changes to inters and then back to wets was especially mid boggling. Ferrari would have been proud of that kind of performance. If they had gone more conservative, Daniel would have been 4th or even 3rd and Max may have gotten to second or even had a go at first.
    Normally, you see teams bailing out their drivers after they have had a spin or a crash or whatever. Today, Max bailed Red Bull out of a poor display.

    1. I actually think RB made a guess and went for a win. Max was not catching Lewis in the rain on same old wets and putting intermediates on was their best chance to be fastest on the track. Unfortunately for them, it didn’t play out and they traded possible 2-3 to a 3-8. Points wise it was a bad bet, but when going all out for a win, a good one.

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