Ferrari's Vettel Wins Pirelli's 350th Grand Prix
The British Grand Prix at Silverstone came down to a tense strategic battle between Ferrari and Mercedes, after two safety cars in the closing stages of the race turned it into a pair of final sprints.
Ferrari and Mercedes made different strategic choices under the first safety car, with Ferrari opting for a second stop to put its drivers onto soft tires: the softest tire compound available.
Meanwhile, the Mercedes drivers stayed out on their medium tires to maintain track position, making only one stop.
With extremely warm track temperatures close to 122-degrees Fahrenheit, on one of the fastest and most demanding circuits of the year in terms of energy loadings, all the tire compounds demonstrated both performance and reliability at Pirelli’s 350th grand prix.
Pirelli now remains at Silverstone for the latest two-day test in the 2019 Formula 1 tire development program, with the Haas, Red Bull and Williams teams.
Mario Isola, Pirelli's head of car racing:
"We saw a thrilling and unpredictable grand prix featuring a variety of different strategies and all three tire compounds being used. As well as the very different strategies based on soft and medium tires that made up the first five places, Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg made up six places by stopping once, from the medium to hard tire.
"The race was obviously affected by safety cars that put many of the pre-planned strategies into question, but all of the drivers were able to fight hard from start to finish on every tire compound at one of the season’s most demanding circuits. This culminated in a thrilling finale that perfectly showcased the spectacular nature of Formula 1, at Pirelli’s 350th grand prix."
Pit stop strategy
The safety cars made the strategy hard to predict, but in the end Sebastian Vettel won with a two-stop strategy, starting on the soft tire and then changing to the medium tire on lap 20 (under green flag conditions) and then to the soft tire on lap 33 under the safety car: a move that helped him to win the race.