Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

2017 Spanish Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2017 Spanish Grand Prix

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Although the medium compound tyre was considerably slower than the soft at the Circuit de Catalunya, we didn’t see as many short stints on the compound as might have been expected.

There was one good reason for this. The Spanish track is notoriously difficult for overtaking. Running a short stint on mediums would mean running an extra stint on softs, and more pit stops means a far greater chance of being stuck in traffic.

So the field overwhelmingly preferred two-stop strategies. Among the notable exceptions was Daniil Kvyat, who started last on mediums and discarded them after the first lap. His two lengthy stints on softs helped him reached the chequered flag in the points.

Initial race leader Sebastian Vettel, however, found himself snookered into running a long stint on the mediums after making his first pit stop early. He also missed out on the chance to take his second stop during the Virtual Safety Car period, costing him more time.

2017 Spanish Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

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2017 Spanish Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4
Lewis HamiltonSoft (21)Medium (15)Soft (30)
Sebastian VettelSoft (14)Soft (23)Medium (29)
Daniel RicciardoSoft (21)Medium (17)Soft (28)
Sergio PerezSoft (18)Soft (16)Medium (31)
Esteban OconSoft (16)Soft (18)Medium (31)
Nico HulkenbergSoft (15)Soft (18)Medium (32)
Pascal WehrleinSoft (33)Medium (32)
Carlos Sainz JnrSoft (13)Soft (21)Medium (31)
Daniil KvyatMedium (1)Soft (32)Soft (32)
Romain GrosjeanSoft (19)Soft (15)Medium (31)
Marcus EricssonSoft (18)Soft (14)Medium (32)
Fernando AlonsoSoft (12)Soft (19)Medium (20)Soft (13)
Felipe MassaSoft (1)Soft (12)Soft (20)Medium (31)
Kevin MagnussenSoft (13)Soft (20)Medium (30)Soft (1)
Jolyon PalmerMedium (2)Soft (19)Soft (21)Soft (22)
Lance StrollSoft (12)Soft (21)Medium (31)
Valtteri BottasSoft (26)Medium (12)
Stoffel VandoorneMedium (12)Soft (20)
Max VerstappenSoft (1)
Kimi Raikkonen
DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes21.54421
2Valtteri BottasMercedes21.6890.14526
3Lewis HamiltonMercedes21.7220.17836
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull21.8110.26721
5Daniel RicciardoRed Bull21.9180.37438
6Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso21.9340.39034
7Lance StrollWilliams22.0710.52733
8Lance StrollWilliams22.1000.55612
9Daniil KvyatToro Rosso22.1170.57333
10Daniil KvyatToro Rosso22.2350.6911
11Felipe MassaWilliams22.2920.74813
12Sebastian VettelFerrari22.3070.76337
13Nico HulkenbergRenault22.3620.81833
14Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso22.4320.88813
15Nico HulkenbergRenault22.4900.94615
16Sebastian VettelFerrari22.4990.95514
17Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren22.5471.00312
18Esteban OconForce India22.6161.07216
19Romain GrosjeanHaas22.6411.09734
20Esteban OconForce India22.6431.09934
21Fernando AlonsoMcLaren22.6901.14612
22Kevin MagnussenHaas22.7031.15913
23Jolyon PalmerRenault22.7621.21821
24Marcus EricssonSauber22.7751.23132
25Romain GrosjeanHaas22.8661.32219
26Fernando AlonsoMcLaren22.9231.37951
27Marcus EricssonSauber22.9951.45118
28Felipe MassaWilliams23.0661.52233
29Sergio PerezForce India23.1071.56334
30Jolyon PalmerRenault23.1591.6152
31Fernando AlonsoMcLaren23.3541.81031
32Pascal WehrleinSauber23.4451.90133
33Kevin MagnussenHaas23.8142.27033
34Jolyon PalmerRenault24.7503.20642
35Kevin MagnussenHaas25.0523.50863
36Sergio PerezForce India25.0823.53818
37Felipe MassaWilliams40.61219.0681

2017 Spanish 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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2 comments on “2017 Spanish Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops”

  1. Initial race leader Sebastian Vettel, however, found himself snookered into running a long stint on the mediums after making his first pit stop early. He also missed out on the chance to take his second stop during the Virtual Safety Car period, costing him more time.

    Quite. Despite all that – a premature and unnecessary tyre stop by his team, lack of a teammate when faced with a Merc tag-team blocking, an unlucky VSC and heeding to run almost half the race on slow medium tyres, Vettel finished just 3.5 seconds behind the winner.

  2. Why can’t one driver go for 5-6 laps in Q3 (a continuous run let’s say)? Is because of tyre deg or they’re not allowed to do multiple laps?

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