Racing

Soft-Medium Tire Strategy Pays Off for F1 Driver Lewis Hamilton

Posted on October 8, 2018
Winner Lewis Hamilton had the best lap time on the medium tire compound and third-best on the soft compound.
Winner Lewis Hamilton had the best lap time on the medium tire compound and third-best on the soft compound.

Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes one-two finish at the Japanese Grand Prix, stopping just once without losing the lead. Both Mercedes drivers adopted the same soft-medium tire strategy; however, there were different one-stop strategies from other drivers who finished in the top five.

The exception was Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who finished fourth using the same soft-medium tire strategy as the top two, having started 15th due to a problem in qualifying.

Another driver to show plenty of pace was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who finished sixth with a supersoft-soft tire strategy, after dropping towards the back following a racing incident.

With temperatures and energy loads high at the Suzuka circuit, in contrast to the variable weather seen up to Sunday, there were a number of question marks about tire strategy before the race start. Nonetheless, the majority of drivers were able to stop only once, helped additionally by an early safety car.

Mario Isola, Pirelli's head of car racing:

"With temperatures being so much warmer than they have been up to now, we knew that there would be some additional challenges at this very demanding track. This was indeed the case, especially in the closing stages of the race, but it did not compromise the action at all, as the many impressive fightbacks showed. Thanks also to an early safety car most drivers were able to make just one stop, and we also saw some very long stints on all three tire compounds. Many chose to finish the grand prix on the medium tire -- the equivalent of last year’s soft -- despite the fact that this tire wasn’t used extensively in free practice, and not at all in these warm conditions."

The winning strategy

Lewis Hamilton won the race using one stop on lap 24 as predicted, using the optimal soft-medium tire strategy that we thought would be quickest. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel set the fastest race lap using the soft tire -- beating last year’s benchmark by nearly 0.8 seconds – just before the flag.

Pirelli now remains in Suzuka for a two-day development test with Renault, assessing 2019 prototype tires on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Related Topics: Formula 1, Mario Isola, motorsports, Pirelli P Zero, racing tires

Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
The 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 R will make its customer racing debut this weekend in the iconic Falken Motorsport teal and blue colours.
News Falken Motorsports Continues in the Fast Lane

After romping to a double victory in the last race of the VLN Endurance Championship, Falken Motorsports is now heading for the next highlight: The team of the Japanese tire manufacturer is the first customer team to provide a set of test tires for tests of the new Porsche 911 GT3 R on the Nürburgring race track.

News Duran Motorsports looks for Redemption at Tijuana Score Desert Challenge

With two rounds to go in the four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship, No. 1016 Duran Motorsports looks to the Tijuana SCORE Desert Challenge to make up points in the Class 10 championship.

News Reigning DTM Champion Defends Title with Back-to-Back Wins on Hankook Tires

Hankook Tire, the exclusive tire provider for the DTM series, provided René Rast with optimal support in both low and high temperatures on the Sept. 8th and 9th races at the iconic circuit in the Eifel Mountains, Nürburgring, Germany, propelling Rast to claim two victories.

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!