Retail

Mercedes one-two after a race revolving round tire strategy

Posted on March 31, 2014
Lewis Hamilton won the Malaysian Grand Prix for Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton won the Malaysian Grand Prix for Mercedes.

Malaysia, one of the toughest tests of the year for tires because of its high temperatures and an abrasive surface, demonstrated the reduced graining and increased durability of this year’s Pirelli tires, with no blistering despite track temperatures that peaked at 46 degrees centigrade. Just 15 drivers finished the grand prix, underlining the rate of attrition.

The P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium tires were nominated for the race, but with more than a second difference in race pace between the two compounds, a key part of the strategy consisted of the ability to adapt tire choice to the characteristics of each car and the evolving race conditions.

The top two finishers, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg (who claimed the first one-two for Mercedes since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix) both used exactly the same three-stop strategy: three stints on the medium tire followed by a final stint on the hard tire, of just five and six laps respectively at the end of the race. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was the highest-placed two-stopper in fifth, having fought for a podium place from seventh on the grid. The German completed a long final stint on the hard tire, but was able to match some of the competitors on the softer medium tire for performance.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “This was a tough race, with track temperature of 46 degrees at the start and the most abrasive surface that we visit all year. In spite of this the tires showed an overall balance of performance that allowed a close battle for the lead. There was no blistering or graining, and while drivers had to manage thermal degradation, a three-stop race is in line with the requirements the sport has asked Pirelli to deliver.”

Truth-O-Meter:
Our prediction for the race was a tough one to call after qualifying was run in wet weather, minimizing slick tire data available. But we said that the fastest theoretical way for the 56-lap race should be to start on the medium, change to the medium again on lap 15, medium once more on lap 29 and a final stint on the hard from lap 43.
We were quite close. Hamilton started on the medium; made his first stop for mediums again on lap 15, second stop for more mediums on lap 33, and his final stint on the hard from lap 51.

Related Topics: Formula One, Malaysian Grand Prix, Pirelli, Sepang International Circuit

Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
eBay has expanded its tire installation service, which launched in May 2017, to include the U.S.
News eBay Offers Tire Installation in the U.S.

Another online seller has launched a tire installation network in the U.S. — eBay Motors.

Popular Science has named the Hakkapeliitta 9 one of the best creations of 2017. It's the only tire on the list.
News Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 Is 'Best of What's New' Award Winner

Popular Science has named the Hakkapeliitta 9 — the flagship winter tire by Nokian Tyres Inc. — a winner of the 2017 Best of What’s New Award.  

News Vogue Tyre Unleashes Its Style on New Website

Vogue Tyre & Rubber Co. has redesigned its website, mirroring it to the world class look and experience the company says its consumers expect.  

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!