Race Strategy: China, Presented by UBS F1

Key Strategic Moment

The Key Strategic Moment of the 2015 FORMULA 1 CHINESE GRAND PRIX was in the second stint of the race, when the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 team changed its strategy and put both drivers onto soft tyres instead of the mediums. In order to make the tyres last 18 laps, Lewis Hamilton had to manage them by driving slowly.

This backed up team mate Nico Rosberg, who was in second place, towards the Scuderia Ferrari car of Sebastian Vettel. At the second stop, Vettel tried to undercut Rosberg, but the Mercedes team covered the situation by letting Rosberg pit first.

The Mercedes cars were then faster on the medium tyres than the Ferraris and the 1-2 finish was secure. 

Race Strategy Briefing

Strategy Insights

Because of its layout, with some long, tight corners, a significant percentage of the lap time in Shanghai is spent turning and so this is a circuit where the cars are limited by the way they use their front tyres. This will be even more true this year as the Pirelli rear tyres are much stronger than in 2014. Teams will have to work around how many laps their car‘s front tyres will last before performance drops off and they must plan their strategy around their relative strength or weakness in this area compared to the opposition. Overtaking is easy here because of the long straight (1.17km), so teams can plan for the fastest strategy, knowing that passing through traffic will not be a huge problem.