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2013 F1

Red Bull breaks drivers’ strategies at Suzuka, it’s to favour Vettel

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redb-vett-suzu-2013-82-886x590Red Bull adapts three-stop strategy for Mark Webber and its helped Sebastian Vettel to finish top podium in Japanese Grand Prix. The Australian took the pole-position and was running ahead of Vettel on the track in the early stages of race.

During the race obviously we saw that strategies promote Vettel to beat Webber in Suzuka. The pole-sitter takes the first pit-stop on lap 11, three laps before his team-mate Vettel first stop.

The duo continues race with hard-compound, after 14 laps, Red Bull set second pit-stop for Webber, following he compete again with hard-compound. But Vettel was able to manage a 23-lap stint on first hard-compound.

Vettel takes his final pit-stop and set of hard tyres with 16 laps remaining, the Australian again pitted for medium compound with 11 laps remaining the race. Webber’s first short stint cost him top podium and it’s helped Vettel to secure fourth title.

Following the race, Mark Webber expressed surprise that he had been put on to a theoretically slower three-stop.

“After that first stop the guys said we were still on two [stops]. No problem, look after the tyres, get to the target lap, and that was the plan. I was looking to wait, off the back of Romain, and try to squeeze up to the back of him between laps 28 and 31, 32, which was the target lap.” Webber said.

“And then I think on 25 the guys said ‘we’re going three-stop’, which was five laps shorter than the two-stop anyway. I asked the guys ‘are you sure this is right?’ and they said ‘yes, we’re going to give it a go’. And when you give it a go you’ve got to give it 100%, and that was it.”

“I don’t have the whole chess match in front of me, that’s the thing,” Webber added, “I have what’s in front of me here. I thought Romain was strong on the [medium tyre], not as strong on the [hard]. When I decided to pull the pin and go straight on the back of him I could do that quite straightforward.

“But then I went there and I thought ‘OK let’s wait again, we can still sit on the two-stop and wait for him to maybe have a bit of tyre problems at the end’. But they said no, we need to pit now, go for the three. They had more information, they always generally do in front of them and that was it.” Webber added.

Following race Red Bull team boss Christian Horner made it that Webber’s fate was sealed by having to stop after just 11 laps.

“The key aspect was the first stint, we went in to the race thinking it was going to be marginal for a two-stop, but probably in clear air we could do that.” explained Horner.

“The first stint dictated everything for us though. Mark put [Romain] Grosjean under quite a lot of pressure and went through the tyre phases pretty quickly to the point that he had run out of tyres by the lap he pitted on.

“That was too short for us in our own minds to make a two-stop really work, because you would have effectively run out of tyres in that last stint. So, as the race opened up for Mark, and [Daniel] Ricciardo held the rest of the field back, some clear track space opened up.” Horner added

“While Grosjean pitted to cover Mark, Sebastian was able to get in clear air to run at a very quick pace having conserved his tyres. That happened again during the second stint and, as the gap opened up, for Mark effectively it was a free stop.

“We felt that was the best way to attack and pass Grosjean with Mark and do the opposite with Sebastian.”

    Red Bull’s tyre strategies
     Spell 1Spell 2Spell 3Spell 4
    Sebastian VettelMedium (14 laps)Hard (23 laps)Hard (16 laps)
    Mark WebberMedium (11 laps)Hard (14 laps)Hard (17 laps)Medium (11 laps)

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