Pireli: Close tactical battle between Mercedes drivers for victory in São Paulo

Hottest track temperatures in recent history at Interlagos, combined with new asphalt, provide a big challenge for tyres in first stint.

Pireli: Close tactical battle between Mercedes drivers for victory in São Paulo
Fernando Alonso, Scuderia Ferrari
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W05
Fernando Alonso, Scuderia Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen, Scuderia Ferrari
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Fernando Alonso, Scuderia Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen, Scuderia Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, Scuderia Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen, Scuderia Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, Scuderia Ferrari
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team

Sao Paulo - Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has closed the gap in the drivers’ championship to his team mate Lewis Hamilton after winning the Brazilian Grand Prix from pole, using a three-stop strategy. Rosberg did an opening stint on the soft tyre and then completed the race with the medium tyre, in high temperatures that were in contrast to the expected rain.

Hamilton adopted a similar strategy to finish runner-up, 1.5 seconds behind his team mate, after losing some time when he ran wide earlier in the race. After both made their final pit stops, Hamilton was able to use tyres that were one lap fresher to challenge Rosberg for the lead, setting up an exciting finale. In the end, Rosberg sealed his eighth career victory and his fifth win of 2014.

Ambient and track temperatures were certainly higher than everybody anticipated,

Paul Hembery

Most drivers started on the soft tyre, which was up to a second per lap faster around Interlagos than the medium compound. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg adopted an alternative three-stop strategy, using the medium tyre from the start until his final stint on the soft. The extra speed at the end of the race helped him to finish eighth, making up four places from his grid position. Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) used a similar strategy to finish just outside the points from the penultimate place on the grid.

As expected in the high track temperatures of more than 50 degrees – the highest seen at the Brazilian Grand Prix in recent years – the theoretically fastest three-stop strategy was used by nearly all the drivers. The highest-placed driver to stop only twice was Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who finished seventh after a thrilling battle that was just as intense as that which took place at the very front of the field. The drivers’ championship will now be decided at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, with double points on offer.

Pirelli’s Motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “We saw a mesmerising battle between the two Mercedes drivers, during which they had to balance their desire to beat each other with the need to get the most out of the tyres in these very high temperatures. Ambient and track temperatures were certainly higher than everybody anticipated, which caused some degree of blistering and graining, particularly at the start of the race with heavy fuel, soft tyres and the hottest temperatures of the day.

This did not however affect tyre performance. The new surface created a number of challenges for everyone all weekend, including the teams, the drivers and ourselves. Most drivers went for a three-stop strategy, which we predicted to be the fastest around Interlagos. However, Kimi Raikkonen made a two-stop strategy work as well, at one of the most demanding races of the year. ”

Pirelli Motorsport

shares
comments
Massa earns a popular podium result at home
Previous article

Massa earns a popular podium result at home

Next article

Red Bull puzzled by Ricciardo suspension failure

Red Bull puzzled by Ricciardo suspension failure
Load comments
The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021