Pirelli admit 4 stops is too many

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Pirelli motor sport boss Paul Hembery admitted Sunday that four stops in a Formula One race is too many. The Italian sole tire supplier faced the reality that degradation was extremely high during Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix and the Hembery says it’s the nature of the circuit but unlikely to be repeated again this year:

“Strategy was again at the forefront of the Spanish Grand Prix, which as usual was very demanding on the tyres because of the unique characteristics of this circuit. This is why we saw high levels of degradation, which should not be seen again to this extent for the rest of the year. Our aim is to have between two and three stops at every race, so it’s clear that four is too many: in fact, it’s only happened once before, in Turkey during our first year in the sport. We’ll be looking to make some changes, in time for Silverstone, to make sure that we maintain our target and solve any issues rapidly. Congratulations to Fernando Alonso and Ferrari who pushed hard from start to finish to make the four-stop strategy work for them and seal a very popular result here. They planned their strategy from the start of the weekend, using the tyres wisely during qualifying, and then made it count with some fantastic overtaking moves.”

Mercedes had locked out the front row to start Sunday’s grand prix and immediately drifted backward with Lewis Hamilton radioing in to his pit wall that he couldn’t drive any slower than he was to preserve the tires. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel said that the team aren’t driving to the pace of the car so much as the pace of the tires.

 

Pit stop summary – 2013 Spanish Grand Prix 

Alonso: MU HU (9) HN (21) MU (36) HN (49) 4

Räikkönen: MU MU (10) MU (26) HU (45) 3

Massa: MU HU (8) HN (20) MU (36) HN (51) 4

Vettel: MU HN (10) HN (24) MU (39) HN (51) 4

Webber: MU HN (7) HN (20) MU (36) HN (50) 4

Rosberg: MU HN (10) HN (27) HN (47) 3

Di Resta: MU HN (9) MU (19) MU (38) HN (53) 4

Button: MN HN (11) HN (28) HN (46) 3

Perez: MU HN (10) HN (23) MU (38) HN (50) 4

Ricciardo: MN HN (10) MU (24) HN(39) HU (51) 4

Gutierrez: MU MU (13) HN (28) MU (42) HN (54) 4

Hamilton: MU HN (9) HN (25) MU (36) HN (50) 4

Sutil: MU MN (8) HN (22) HN (36) MU (49) 4

Maldonado: MN HN (8) DT (13) MN (20) HN (35) MU (53) 5

Hülkenberg: MU MU (8) HN (21) HN (34) HU (35) S&G (38) MU (53) 6

Bottas: MN HN (9) HN (25) MN (43) 3

Pic: HN MN (8) HN (23) HN (41) 3

Bianchi: HN HN (2) HN (16) MN (29) HU (46) 4

Chilton: HN HN (15) MN (30) HN (47) 3

Vergne: MU HN (9) MN (20) HN (34) MU (37) 4 NC

Van Der Garde: MN HN (9) HN (20) 2 NC

Grosjean: MU 0 NC

The first column denotes the tyres the driver started the race on.

M = Medium compound

H = Hard compound Pirelli Tyre Press Office Ph. +39 02 6442 4270 – pressoffice@pirelli.com – www.pirelli.com

N = New compound

U = Used compound

NC = Not classified

DT = Drive Through

S&G = Stop and Go Penalty

Pirelli said they thought a 3-stop would win the day but Alonso went for a four-stop sprint strategy. He stopped for the first time on lap nine for the hard tyres, hard again on lap 21, medium on lap 36, and hard on lap 49. His team mate Felipe Massa adopted a similar strategy.

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