Tire strategy was key to the emotional finale of the Bahrain GP

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen fought for the victory with different tactics, but with two stops each.


The 2021 edition of Bahrain Grand Prix, first date of the 2021 World Cup F1, was the scene of a tense strategic battle between Max Verstappen (Red Bull), which started from pole position, and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), ultimately the winner after defending themselves in the final section with tires with more laps on their backs.

The Englishman took the lead after advancing his first pit stop, but Verstappen gave him a tough battle in the final stint with 11 laps fewer tires. Both runners used different tactics, but with two stops everyone.

Bahrain Grand Prix 2021
Lewis Hamilton receives the checkered flag, confirming his 96th Formula 1 success. Photo: LAT Images.

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), who completed the podium, made a third visit to the pits in the final stretch of the GP to set up a middle game that has helped him set the fastest lap of the race and score the bonus point. A revenge for what happened at his second stop, which took a dozen seconds due to the inconvenience to remove a wheel.

Sergio Pérez has also stopped three times in his debut with Red Bull, who finished in fifth place after starting from the pit lane. The AlphaTauri de Pierre Gasly He has completed the shortlist of riders who have changed tires three times, unexpectedly in his case, having to add an initial pit stop due to contact with a rival.

Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas made three pit stops, the last one wearing medium tires and setting the lap record. Photo: Steven Tee / LAT Images.

“The tire strategy has been one of the keys to this exciting race. Despite resorting to similar tactics, Lewis Hamilton stopped before Max Verstappen, forcing him to complete a longer final stint and which he managed to perfection. All three compounds performed very well on Sunday, particularly surprising the medium, which allowed Verstappen to complete a long intermediate stint ”, explained Mario isola, responsible for Pirelli in the F.1.

“Throughout the 56 laps we have seen a great strategic diversity: up to five drivers have used the three available compounds and two of them have reached the Top 5 stopping three times. The tactics reflected, to a large extent, the volume of games left to each driver ”, He added.

THE BEHAVIOR OF THE TIRES IN THE BAHRAIN GP

Pirelli
Photo: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images.

HARD (C2): It was one of the key ingredients in the excitement of the race, especially during the final duel between Hamilton and Verstappen. Mercedes and AlphaTauri were the only teams to keep two new sets for the race, allowing, without going any further, the winner of the test to complete a stint of 28 laps with a performance

MEDIUM (C3): The choice preferred by the majority of runners for the start, including the first three. Verstappen also used this compound in his intermediate stint, while Mercedes used the hard one. This compound has shown a reduced time difference compared to the hard one, as demonstrated by the data collected during free practice on Friday.

SOFT (C4): Exclusive protagonist during the start of the race, which nine riders have tackled on these tires. Its useful life has been extended beyond expectations due to the appearance of the safety car and colder temperatures than expected.

THIS WERE THE DETENTIONS IN THE BOXES
No. PILOT START PIT 1 PIT 2 PIT 3
44 HAM C3u C2n (13) C2n (28)
33 SEE C3u C3n (17) C2n (39)
77 BOT C3u C2n (16) C2n (30) C3u (54)
4 NOR C4u C3n (12) C2n (33)
11 FOR C3u C3u (2) C2n (19) C3u (38)
16 LEC C4u C3n (12) C2n (32)
3 RIC C4u C3n (13) C2n (32)
55 SAI C4u C3n (15) C2n (37)
22 TSU C3u C2n (15) C2n (33)
18 STR C4u C3n (12) C2n (28)
7 RAI C3n C2n (13) C3n (29)
99 GIO C3n C2n (12) C3n (30)
31 OCO C4n C3n (13) C2n (31)
63 RUSSIAN C4n C3n (13) C3n (36)
5 VET C3n C2n (24)
47 MSC C3n C3n (14) C2n (33)
10 GAS C3u C2n (4) C3u (19) C2n (39)
6 LAT C4n C3n (14) C3n (32)
14 HELLO C4u C3n (11) C2n (29)
9 MAZ C3n

Note: C2, hard compound; C3, middle compound; and C4, soft compound. N, new game; U, game used.

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Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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