Lewis Hamilton continued a
record-breaking run for Mercedes by taking another win ahead of his team
mate. The race looked set to be a combination of one and two stop
strategies, but in the end this was influenced by a late safety car, giving
the frontrunners a ‘free’ pit stop.
- All but one of the drivers stopped twice – most making their second stop
behind the safety car – and there were also four different strategies in the
- Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was the first to commit to a two-stopper,
followed by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, whose strategy was compromised by a
flat-spot in a tussle for position at the first corner. Mercedes driver
Valtteri Bottas also pitted as the safety car came out. All three used
- The safety car allowed Hamilton – who had made his first stop without
losing the lead – to make a second stop without penalty, emerging in the
lead once more. Several other drivers followed him, pitting under the
lengthy safety car period.
- Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg made a one-stop strategy work, starting from the
pit lane on the medium compound and then finishing 13th with the soft.
- Conditions were warm today with track temperatures in excess of 40 degrees
centigrade, following a weekend during which the weather fluctuated.
HOW EACH TYRE PERFORMED
HARD C1: Only four drivers used it during the race: Ferrari’s Charles
Leclerc, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, and the Alfa Romeo duo of Kimi
Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi. It could probably have been a key
ingredient of a one-stop strategy, but this was basically neutralised by the
MEDIUM C2: This tyre was the most popular choice for the second stint (which
might also have been the final stint without the safety car). There were
some quite long stints on this compound, but in a few cases it also showed
signs of wear, as expected.
SOFT C3: Used extensively throughout the race, notably in the final stint
after the safety car when the fastest lap was set on this compound by
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING
“The safety car close to the end was the pivotal moment in the race when it
came to tyre strategy, effectively ensuring that everyone did a two-stopper,
and resetting the gaps so that there was a short sprint to the finish. From
the start of the race, it seemed likely we would see a variety of one and
two stop strategies, with all three compounds in play. In the end, it
probably would have been quite tricky to one-stop, as there was some degree
of wear on the soft and medium, at this very severe circuit in terms of
energy loadings. Now we remain in Barcelona for the in-season test on
Tuesday and Wednesday, when Ferrari and Racing Point will be fielding an
additional car for us to test 2020 prototype tyres.”