Belgian GP: Race team notes - Pirelli


Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc converted his pole position to victory in Spa, using a one-stop soft-medium strategy that we had predicted as the optimal tactic. This same strategy was used by the top three (who all made their single stops within three laps of each other) with the Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas completing the podium.

Sebastian Vettel, who started from second on the grid, was the first of the frontrunners to pit for mediums. Having led the race, he then made a second stop for soft tyres and emerged fourth, which is where he finished. He also claimed the extra championship point for fastest lap. Vettel was one of just three drivers in the top 10 to stop twice.

Weather conditions were much cooler than they had been previously, with track temperatures consistently below 30 degrees centigrade throughout the race.

Two of the five drivers who started the race quite far down the grid on the medium tyre (with everyone else starting on the soft) finished in the top 10. One of them was Red Bull's new driver Alex Albon - who ended up fifth, after starting 17th.

The longest stint on the medium was done by Renault's Daniel Ricciardo who drove practically the entire race on it, after getting caught up in a first-lap incident.

McLaren's Lando Norris was on course for his best-ever result in fifth place with a soft-medium strategy before retiring on the final lap due to a technical problem.

Mario Isola: "Congratulations to Ferrari and Charles Leclerc for his well-deserved first victory, after what has been an extremely difficult weekend for the whole motorsport community with the loss of Anthoine Hubert. Charles executed the theoretically fastest tyre strategy perfectly, managing his final set of mediums very well under a lot of pressure from Lewis Hamilton at the end. One of the big challenges for all the drivers today was adapting to very different weather conditions to what we had seen previously this weekend, which made wear and degradation rates quite tricky to anticipate."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Spa, here.

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Published: 01/09/2019
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