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Brazil GP: Race team notes - Pirelli

NEWS STORY
14/11/2021

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the Brazilian Grand Prix with a two-stop medium-hard-hard strategy: the same tactic used by all the top three drivers.

Hamilton started from P10 on the grid and worked his way up through the field, making his first pit stop one lap before race leader Max Verstappen (Red Bull) but his second stop three laps later. He subsequently passed Verstappen to win the race and narrow the gap in the championship.

Most drivers stopped twice, but there was also three one-stop and two three-stop strategies seen during the race, with seven different combinations of compounds. This underlines the variety of tactics implemented.

All the drivers started the race on the P Zero Yellow medium C3 tyre (with a free choice allowed, following Sprint Qualifying rules). The only exception was AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda, who opted for the P Zero Red soft. Red Bull's Sergio Perez was the only other driver to use the soft during the race, fitting it on the penultimate lap to claim the point for fastest lap at the end.

The grand prix started in warm ambient temperatures of 24 degrees and track temperatures of 50 degrees: around 20 degrees hotter than the cool track temperatures seen yesterday (and similar to FP2 on Saturday morning). The temperatures remained quite consistent throughout the race.

Within the first 15 laps there was a safety car period, followed by other two virtual safety cars in the first half of the race, helping to minimise tyre wear at a crucial point with the cars on full fuel.

Mario Isola: "Strategy was at the forefront of this finely-balanced grand prix, with similar performance between the frontrunners and a number of strategies that were on paper very closely matched. Track temperature was the biggest influence on the strategy today, with temperatures that were around 20 degrees higher than yesterday's Sprint Qualifying, shifting the balance away from the softer compounds towards the harder compounds. The hard was the main race tyre, performing very well with some impressive lap times in these challenging conditions. With the first stint lasting a little longer due to safety cars, the drivers were able to gain more flexibility for the second stint. There was a clear tactical battle involving the ‘undercut', especially among the frontrunners, and that's the reason why the central stint on the hard tyre was so short for some of the top drivers. Lewis Hamilton did a very impressive job over the weekend: from the back of the grid in Sprint Qualifying all the way to the top step of the grand prix podium."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Interlagos, here.

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