Russian GP: Pirelli Grand Prix Review


By Courtesy of Pirelli
September 28 2020

 
 Pirelli Russian Grand Prix Review
 
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KEY MOMENTS
* Just as he did in 2017 – his first Formula 1 victory – Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas won in Russia from third on the grid. The Finn took the lead after his team mate Lewis Hamilton served a 10-second penalty during his pit stop. Bottas on Yellow Medium stopped 10 laps later, switching to White hard tyres.
* Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who finished second, used exactly the same strategy as Bottas, making his sole stop a lap earlier. They were the only drivers who qualified in the top 10 of the grid to start the race on the Yellow medium tyre.
* Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who finished third, ran a soft-hard strategy, but his tactics were dictated by Q2 yesterday (when he set his best time on the soft) and having to serve his penalty during the race. He rejoined in P11 and made his way back up to the final podium.
* Three drivers (McLaren’s Lando Norris, Red Bull’s Alex Albon, and Williams driver George Russell) took advantage of a safety car on the first lap to change onto the hard compound. Only one of them – Norris – attempted to get to the finish on this compound, but was forced to come off them in the closing stages and switch to medium, after 46 laps on the same set of hards.
* Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri) finished his home grand prix in eighth, as the highest placed of just two drivers to start the race on the hard compound. The other, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen, completed a 35-lap opening stint on this tyre.

HOW EACH TYRE PERFORMED
HARD C3: Used by the top seven for the final stint, with some very long runs also seen on this compound. Bottas set the fastest lap of the race on 25-lap-old hard tyres with two laps left to go. Hamilton also did 37 laps on the White hard.
MEDIUM C4: Most drivers outside of the top 10 selected the medium to start the race with. A key ingredient in the race strategy of the top two drivers, who started on the medium.
SOFT C5: Only eight drivers used this to start the race: one of them was Hamilton from pole. Racing Point’s Sergio Perez used the same soft-hard strategy as Hamilton to finish fourth.

MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING
“On a hot day in Sochi, with ambient temperatures in excess of 30 degrees, we saw a variety of strategies, as a result of bringing compounds that were a step softer than last year. In the past, Sochi has been mainly a one-stop race, and this was generally the case again but with all three compounds coming into play as part of the different strategies. Managing thermal degradation was key, especially on the soft, but we also saw some particularly long stints on the hard. Congratulations to Valtteri Bottas and also to Mercedes – which keeps up its unbeaten record at the Russian Grand Prix.” 

 

BEST TIME BY COMPOUND
HARD			MEDIUM			SOFT
Bottas 1m37.030s	Gasly 1m37.231s		Russell 1m37.352s
Verstappen 1m37.332s	Norris 1m37.377s	Hamilton 1m39.693s
Ricciardo 1m37.886s	Albon 1m38.377s		Perez 1m40.371s

LONGEST STINT OF THE RACE
COMPOUND		DRIVER		LAPS
HARD C3			Norris		46
MEDIUM C4		Russell		36
SOFT C5			Perez		20

 

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