Lewis Hamilton continued a record-breaking run for Mercedes by taking another win ahead of his team mate. The race looked set to be a combination of one and two stop strategies, but in the end this was influenced by a late safety car, giving the frontrunners a ‘free’ pit stop.
- All but one of the drivers stopped twice – most making their second stop behind the safety car – and there were also four different strategies in the top five.
- Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was the first to commit to a two-stopper, followed by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, whose strategy was compromised by a flat-spot in a tussle for position at the first corner. Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas also pitted as the safety car came out. All three used different strategies.
- The safety car allowed Hamilton – who had made his first stop without losing the lead – to make a second stop without penalty, emerging in the lead once more. Several other drivers followed him, pitting under the lengthy safety car period.
- Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg made a one-stop strategy work, starting from the pit lane on the medium compound and then finishing 13th with the soft.
- Conditions were warm today with track temperatures in excess of 40 degrees centigrade, following a weekend during which the weather fluctuated.
HOW EACH TYRE PERFORMED
- HARD C1: Only four drivers used it during the race: Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, and the Alfa Romeo duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi. It could probably have been a key ingredient of a one-stop strategy, but this was basically neutralised by the safety car.
- MEDIUM C2: This tyre was the most popular choice for the second stint (which might also have been the final stint without the safety car). There were some quite long stints on this compound, but in a few cases it also showed signs of wear, as expected.
- SOFT C3: Used extensively throughout the race, notably in the final stint after the safety car when the fastest lap was set on this compound by Hamilton.
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING
“The safety car close to the end was the pivotal moment in the race when it came to tyre strategy, effectively ensuring that everyone did a two-stopper, and resetting the gaps so that there was a short sprint to the finish. From the start of the race, it seemed likely we would see a variety of one and two stop strategies, with all three compounds in play. In the end, it probably would have been quite tricky to one-stop, as there was some degree of wear on the soft and medium, at this very severe circuit in terms of energy loadings. Now we remain in Barcelona for the in-season test on Tuesday and Wednesday, when Ferrari and Racing Point will be fielding an additional car for us to test 2020 prototype tyres.”