One-stop strategy for all but one of the finishers at Monza
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has won in Monza, Pirelli’s home race held half an hour’s drive from the company’s HQ in Milan. Hamilton won the race with a one-stop strategy, starting on the P Zero White medium tire and then switching to the P Zero Orange hard tire for the rest of the race.
He is now seventh in the all-time list of grand prix winners, surpassing fellow Briton Sir Jackie Stewart. Hamilton was presented with his trophy on the podium by Pirelli brand ambassador Jean Alesi.
The winning strategy was adopted by the majority of frontrunners, with the top 10 finishers all using similar tactics. At one of the fastest races of the year, with approximately a 24-second time loss in the pit lane, most drivers were able to take advantage of the low wear and degradation of both compounds to stop only once: clearly the best way to approach the race.
The top 10 on the grid all started on the medium tire, with Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg the highest-placed driver to start on the hard tire, from 13th on the grid. He then completed a long 33-lap final stint on the softer tire at the end of the race.
Another driver to start on the hard tire was Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, from 21st on the grid following a penalty. He completed a 30-lap opening stint on the hard tire and was set for a points finish with the different strategy helping him gain track position, until a braking issue on the final lap.
Temperatures were slightly cooler than they had been during the weekend previously, with the race starting in 29 degrees ambient and 44 degrees of track temperature.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Throughout the weekend, wear and degradation rates were low on both compounds – even with the punishing speeds and impacts with kerbs that the tires have to face here at Monza. We’ve seen top speeds during the race in excess of 360kph, putting on a great show for the spectators. Also, we’ve experienced no blistering during the course of the weekend, which can occasionally be an issue at Monza. Congratulation to Lewis Hamilton for his second win with us at Monza: we saw plenty of high-speed action further down the field as well, showcasing all the skills of the current generation of Formula One drivers and cars.”
We predicted a one-stop strategy, starting on the medium tire and then switching to the hard tire on lap 23. Hamilton followed our prediction, stopping at the end of lap 25 – one lap later than his team mate.