Pirelli: Only two teams ran exactly the same strategies

Lewis Hamilton led home a Mercedes one-two following a dramatic weekend, taking the lead in the closing stages of the race after Ferrari’s polesitter Charles Leclerc hit problems.

The top three all used different two-stop strategies, in a thrilling race that was characterised by plenty of tactical variation, with high levels of tyre degradation.

Key Points

  • Before his issue, Leclerc’s advantage had been such that he was able to complete his second pit stop without losing the lead. He still took the point for fastest lap.
  • Sebastian Vettel finished fifth with three visits to the pits, the final one following an incident.
  • There was a tense strategic battle between Mercedes and Ferrari, with both teams attempting to undercut each other during both rounds of pit stops.
  • Although there were many different strategies at work, all the drivers started on the soft tyre apart from Williams driver Robert Kubica.
  • The only driver to attempt a one-stopper was Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, who retired with just a couple of laps to go.

How each tyre compound performed:

Hard C1: The hard was used by only one driver – McLaren’s Carlos Sainz – but with nearly everyone targeting two stops, it ended up being less relevant today.

Medium C2: This tyre was a key element to the pace of Leclerc, running his two final stints on the medium, as well as other drivers such as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Hamilton only used the medium tyre once, at the end of the race.

Soft C3: Ricciardo used this compound for nearly half the race: championship leader Valtteri Bottas was the only podium finisher to use it at the end of the race.

Mario Isola, Head of Car Racing: “As Lewis Hamilton said, Charles Leclerc deserved to win today and his problems were part of a truly dramatic and unpredictable grand prix, in which tyre strategy played a key part. Both Ferrari and Mercedes timed their stops to try and undercut each other, but Leclerc’s performance advantage meant that he was able to make his second stop without losing the lead.”

“There was an ample range of strategies: in fact, only two teams ran exactly the same strategies for both their drivers. Outside the immediate frontrunners, there were also some stand-out performances from drivers such as Lando Norris, who scored his first points for McLaren.”

BEST TIME BY COMPOUND

HARD MEDIUM SOFT
Sainz
1m37.179s
Leclerc
1m33.411s
Bottas
1m34.209s
Hamilton
1m33.528s
Hamilton
1m34.644s
Vettel
1m34.918s
Vettel
1m34.895s

LONGEST STINT OF THE RACE

COMPOUND DRIVER LAPS
HARD C1 Sainz 16
MEDIUM C2 Stroll 33
SOFT C3 Gasly 30

PIT STOP SUMMARY

CAR DRIVER START PIT 1 PIT 2 PIT 3
44 HAM C3u C3n (13) C2n (34)
77 BOT C3u C2n (12) C3u (37)
16 LEC C3u C2n (13) C2n (36)
33 VER C3u C2n (11) C2n (32)
5 VET C3u C2n (14) C2n (35) C3u (38)
4 NOR C3u C2n (10) C3u (34)
7 RAI C3u C2n (9) C3u (33)
10 GAS C3u C3n (9) C2n (39)
23 ALB C3u C3n (9) C2n (25)
11 PER C3n C2n (8) C2n (33)
99 GIO C3n C2n (16) C3n (40)
26 KVY C3n C2n (12) C3n (38)
20 MAG C3u C2n (10) C3u (38)
18 STR C3n C2n (1) C2n (23)
63 RUS C3n C2n (12) C2n (26)
88 KUB C2n C3n (11) C2u (27)
27 HUL C3n C3n (12) C2n (32)
3 RIC C3n C2n (24)
55 SAI C3u C2n (4) C1u (24) C3u (40)
8 GRO C3u C2n (1)

C1 = Hard C1  |  C2 = Medium C2  |  C3 = Soft C3 | n = new  |  u = used