2017 Mexican Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2017 Mexican Grand Prix

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The Mexican Grand Prix was largely a one-stop strategy affair as usual. But the first-lap collision and later Virtual Safety Car prompted a few novel strategies.

Mexican Grand Prix in pictures
When the two title contenders limped into the pits at the end of lap one with damage the strategic option for them was obvious: Stick a set of softs on and try to run to the end. They might have stuck with that plan: Felipe Massa did 67 laps, almost the whole race distance, on one set of softs.

But Nico Hulkenberg’s stoppage, which caused a Virtual Safety Car period, allowed some of the drivers ahead of Vettel and Hamilton to make pit stops while losing less time. That meant the best the title rivals could now so was get onto a softer tyre than their rivals in the hope of making up ground.

This worked to an extent. But Sebastian Vettel never looked likely of making it as high as the second place he needed, and that’s how it turned out.

Only two drivers tried starting on the race on anything other than the ultra-softs: Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean. This explains why the McLaren driver was so insistent that Grosjean receive a penalty for abusing track limits, as being stuck behind the only other driver on the same strategy compromised his chances in the race.

2017 Mexican Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3
Max VerstappenUltra soft (32)Super soft (39)
Valtteri BottasUltra soft (32)Super soft (39)
Kimi RaikkonenUltra soft (32)Soft (39)
Sebastian VettelUltra soft (1)Soft (31)Ultra soft (39)
Esteban OconUltra soft (20)Soft (50)
Lance StrollUltra soft (32)Super soft (38)
Sergio PerezUltra soft (18)Soft (32)Ultra soft (20)
Kevin MagnussenUltra soft (31)Soft (39)
Lewis HamiltonUltra soft (1)Soft (30)Super soft (39)
Fernando AlonsoSuper soft (32)Ultra soft (38)
Felipe MassaUltra soft (3)Soft (67)
Stoffel VandoorneUltra soft (31)Super soft (39)
Pierre GaslyUltra soft (31)Super soft (39)
Pascal WehrleinUltra soft (4)Soft (65)
Romain GrosjeanSuper soft (31)Soft (31)Ultra soft (7)
Carlos Sainz JnrUltra soft (2)Soft (29)Ultra soft (28)
Marcus EricssonUltra soft (28)Super soft (27)
Brendon HartleyUltra soft (30)
Nico HulkenbergUltra soft (19)Soft (5)
Daniel RicciardoUltra soft (5)

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2017 Mexican Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Valtteri BottasMercedes21.75832
2Lance StrollWilliams21.8250.06732
3Felipe MassaWilliams22.0550.2973
4Sebastian VettelFerrari22.3790.62132
5Kevin MagnussenHaas22.5070.74931
6Sergio PerezForce India22.5280.77050
7Kimi RaikkonenFerrari22.5400.78232
8Max VerstappenRed Bull22.5700.81232
9Nico HulkenbergRenault22.5870.82919
10Fernando AlonsoMcLaren22.6550.89732
11Esteban OconForce India22.6650.90720
12Pierre GaslyToro Rosso22.7090.95131
13Marcus EricssonSauber22.7360.97828
14Carlos Sainz JnrRenault22.8521.0942
15Sergio PerezForce India22.9031.14518
16Carlos Sainz JnrRenault23.0351.27731
17Romain GrosjeanHaas23.0351.27762
18Lewis HamiltonMercedes23.3151.55731
19Pascal WehrleinSauber23.3581.6004
20Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren28.0446.28631
21Romain GrosjeanHaas28.7617.00331
22Lewis HamiltonMercedes29.2837.5251
23Sebastian VettelFerrari32.03710.2791

2017 Mexican 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 Mexican Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops”

  1. But Nico Hulkenberg’s stoppage, which caused a Virtual Safety Car period, allowed some of the drivers ahead of Vettel and Hamilton to make pit stops while losing less time.

    It was Hartley‘s stoppage, right?

    1. Yes it was. Hulk stopped on a safer location and they only waved (double?) yellow flags

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