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McLaren strategy and pitstops etc


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#1 BillBald

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 22:35

Last year McLaren admitted that they failed to maximise their performance. They brought in Sam Michael to improve things.

But are they still failing?

A lot of people seem to want to comment on McLaren strategy and pitstop performance, so this is a thread for that purpose. Up to now, these comments have been posted mainly in MP4-27 thread (which is supposed to be about the car, so posts might be deleted), or in Jenson vs Lewis thread where a lot of the posts border on paranoia.

So this is hopefully a thread for more balanced comments.

Starting with Malaysia. McLaren have been criticised for poor pitwork, reasonably enough. They are still not good enough, especially compared with Ferrari.

But there hasn't been very much comment on the way McLaren really dropped the ball, leaving both drivers out on inters when it was very obvious that slicks were much faster. And then fitting options when primes were needed to get to the end of the race with good pace.

Ricciardo pitted on lap 37 and immediately set purple sectors. His first full lap on slicks was fully 7.4 seconds faster than his last lap on inters. It's obvious from that kind of pace that Ricciardo was actually late in taking slicks, although he was the first.

2 laps later, Jenson took slicks and was immediately faster by a similar amount. Within a couple of laps, he was 10 seconds faster than before, although he was in Ricciardo's dirty air. Jenson had previously overtaken Ricciardo with great difficulty, because of the delay he was now stuck behind him again.

2 laps later still, Lewis took slicks and was immediately 10 seconds faster.

The reason why the McLarens stayed out, was because they thought it was going to rain again. But with the pace advantage for slicks, it would have had to rain within 2 or 3 laps for those who changed to be at a disadvantage.

We even had Jenson's RE telling him that he needed to make the inters last to the end of the race, which must be the most ridiculous statement ever made by an RE. Jenson replied by pointing out that they would be useless if it did rain again.



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#2 f1fastestlap

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 22:40

They're relying heavily on computer simulations and leaving the human side behind...
The past few years as seen them declining where it comes to strategy and pitstop work, they just can't make a fast decision when they have to...
Seems they're just a bunch of pre-programmed robots sticking to the by-the-book plan...
With Ricciardo was just so obvious that I saw it right away the purple sectors and I just can't believe they waited 4 laps to do it...

Edited by f1fastestlap, 26 March 2012 - 22:41.


#3 fieraku

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 22:46

I don't understand why they took off a lot of wing in Hamilton's car (fact) and assuming they did with JB as well.They had the pace and were a lock for a 1-2 then the race is red flagged,setup is changed at least in Ham's car and the 27 turns into a turtle.

Did they once again made a bad call and threw away what seemed an easy 1-2?I think they did,they banked on the track being dry and it did not,that might also explain JB's troubles with the tires cooking them too fast.I don't think they just suddenly got slow for no reason,someone made a clusterf*** of a call on setup during the red flag and threw the race away.

Typical McLaren,no wonder they have only 1 title in the new millenium.

#4 scheivlak

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 22:47

They're relying heavily on computer simulations and leaving the human side behind...

If they really rely on computer simulations they should have brought Hamilton in - in a flash.

Unless they are still in the Commodore 64 era of course.

#5 Markn93

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 22:57

As someone rather shrewdly pointed out, leaving Lewis out and hoping for the forecasted rain to materialise was actually the only way he could win the race, otherwise he could have slipped behind the RBs if he pitted early for slicks and it rained again.

#6 fieraku

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 22:57

If they really rely on computer simulations they should have brought Hamilton in - in a flash.

Unless they are still in the Commodore 64 era of course.


Like they did in China 07 and lost the title in what seemed an impossible task to do?McLaren need to hire some guys from NASCAR and learn a bit about strategy.Those guys make calls on the fly all the time, and without all the terabytes of data,they know a thing or two about racing.

Their problem,Mac's, is that they do rely too much on computers.

Edited by fieraku, 26 March 2012 - 22:58.


#7 S3baman

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 22:59

Ayrton Senna said that in a wet weather race, the most important thing is to switch to the right tire, no matter how many stops you have to do. I really believe that McLaren, along with other teams, waited too long to go to slicks because they hoped it would rain again soon. As Ricciardo proved, in 3 laps he recovered the time lost for his pitstop in relation to the leaders, so switching to slicks was the correct decision. I think that the lack of inters/wet tires data combined with the uncertainty of the weather made the decision somewhat difficult. However, if I was a McLaren strategist I would have brought Jenson in a few laps earlier since he was at the back of the field anyway and see if the conditions were right. That way, the team can gather useful data for Lewis and bring him in as well if the slicks are the better tires. Ferrari did this with Massa.

Now let's do an If scenario because these boards like them. Imagine that rain had come 3-4 laps after Ricciardo pitted. Who is to say that the guys that stayed out on inters would be at an advantage? We saw many cars struggling with the tire deg and the inters might have been shot already since they were running on them for 20 odd laps already. So, not only the guys staying out would have lost time in relation to those that pitted for slicks, but they might have to do another stops anyways because their inters were not in a good enough condition.

#8 Requin

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 23:03

As someone rather shrewdly pointed out, leaving Lewis out and hoping for the forecasted rain to materialise was actually the only way he could win the race, otherwise he could have slipped behind the RBs if he pitted early for slicks and it rained again.


Agreed.

When you look at the whole picture, they actually made the correct call as for when to pit their drivers. Pitting Lewis for slicks wouldn't have caught Perez or Alonso, and had it rained, would have lost him a podium. By delaying until it was absolutely necessary, they gave themselves a chance to win the race if it rained again.

#9 scheivlak

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 23:06

Like they did in China 07 and lost the title in what seemed an impossible task to do?

:rotfl: :rotfl:

Whatever you can say about China 2007 -not that they brought him in too soon!
They should have brought Hamilton in way earlier!

But then - they "were racing Alonso"..... A very, very human mistake to make  ;)

#10 f1fastestlap

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 23:09

Agreed.

When you look at the whole picture, they actually made the correct call as for when to pit their drivers. Pitting Lewis for slicks wouldn't have caught Perez or Alonso, and had it rained, would have lost him a podium. By delaying until it was absolutely necessary, they gave themselves a chance to win the race if it rained again.


They were about 10s faster with slicks so he would have get that time back in 3 laps if they had to stop for wets...


#11 BillBald

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 23:22

As someone rather shrewdly pointed out, leaving Lewis out and hoping for the forecasted rain to materialise was actually the only way he could win the race, otherwise he could have slipped behind the RBs if he pitted early for slicks and it rained again.


In the case of Lewis, you could justify it as a conservative strategy, playing it safe. I don't see how it could have won the race, his inters were no good for wet running. OK, I suppose if Alonso and Perez had pitted and then it rained immediately, but they were presumably waiting for Lewis to pit anyway.

But Jenson was out of the points anyway, so nothing to lose and everything to gain. With Jenson's known ability with slicks on a damp track, they should have been the first to pit.

Edited by BillBald, 26 March 2012 - 23:26.


#12 Requin

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 23:27

They were about 10s faster with slicks so he would have get that time back in 3 laps if they had to stop for wets...


Your argument is based on the premise that they would have had 3 laps of dry running. Remember that everyone thought that rain was imminent.

So what if they had pitted as soon as they saw Ricciardo setting purples, then it rained the next lap? They would have lost track position to the Red Bulls, Lewis would have finished 5th, at best, and the amount of people on here who would be calling for Whitmarsh's head on a stake would cause catastrophic meltdown to the Autosport servers.

(now not to single you out, but in general)

Most of you guys here are confusing tactical thinking with strategic. You're only looking at the possible results going forward, not the effects if your plan does not work. McLaren, thankfully, approached this strategically, and while they didn't get the best result possible, they covered themselves from getting any worse a result.

#13 Markn93

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 23:31

In the case of Lewis, you could justify it as a conservative strategy, playing it safe. I don't see how it could have won the race, his inters were no good for wet running.

But Jenson was out of the points anyway, so nothing to lose and everything to gain. With Jenson's known ability with slicks on a damp track, they should have been the first to pit.


I think you misunderstand, I agree they couldn't run the tyres he was on in the wet, but it wasn't a conservative strategy, here's why:

Alonso and Perez pit for slicks a lap or two early leaving Lewis first on bald inters. It then buckets it down Malaysia style so everyone has to pit for full wets, that way Lewis effectively gains a pit stop on everyone just by staying out that little bit longer.

#14 robefc

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 23:33

Your argument is based on the premise that they would have had 3 laps of dry running. Remember that everyone thought that rain was imminent.

So what if they had pitted as soon as they saw Ricciardo setting purples, then it rained the next lap? They would have lost track position to the Red Bulls, Lewis would have finished 5th, at best, and the amount of people on here who would be calling for Whitmarsh's head on a stake would cause catastrophic meltdown to the Autosport servers.

(now not to single you out, but in general)

Most of you guys here are confusing tactical thinking with strategic. You're only looking at the possible results going forward, not the effects if your plan does not work. McLaren, thankfully, approached this strategically, and while they didn't get the best result possible, they covered themselves from getting any worse a result.


Interesting points, I hadn't considered it from that angle, I guess Ferrari and sauber would have reacted to a stop within a lap so difficult to catch them and, as you say, they were protecting themselves from losing positions.

Hmmmmmm, maybe they do know something after all!

#15 f1fastestlap

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 23:42

Your argument is based on the premise that they would have had 3 laps of dry running. Remember that everyone thought that rain was imminent.


Sorry but this "imminent rain" was on for several laps...
They waited too long and they know it...

#16 pingu666

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 23:51

unless they got traffic

#17 Requin

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 23:57

Sorry but this "imminent rain" was on for several laps...
They waited too long and they know it...


Yes.. that's kind of the point. They were handcuffed because the rain could have started at any time.

Look at it this way: You and your buddy work at the same office building, and you're giving him a lift home. He calls you right as you're about to leave and tells you he will be another 5 minutes. Now after 5 minutes, he still hasn't shown. Do you leave him, or wait longer? I'm sure I am in good company to say that I would (reluctantly) wait longer.

What McLaren did (in the case of Lewis) was wait around for 15 minutes before driving off: They stuck around on sub-optimal tires long enough to give them a chance, but not long enough so that it ruined the rest of their day.

Looking at it from that way, can you fault them?

Edited by Requin, 27 March 2012 - 00:01.


#18 BillBald

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 23:58

I think you misunderstand, I agree they couldn't run the tyres he was on in the wet, but it wasn't a conservative strategy, here's why:

Alonso and Perez pit for slicks a lap or two early leaving Lewis first on bald inters. It then buckets it down Malaysia style so everyone has to pit for full wets, that way Lewis effectively gains a pit stop on everyone just by staying out that little bit longer.


I don't think there was any chance of Alonso and Perez pitting before Lewis, they were clearly waiting for him to pit so that they could cover him.

It was a conservative strategy, but in Lewis case it did make sense. In Jenson's case, no sense at all. And the comment from Jenson's RE showed that they weren't thinking very clearly.



#19 karlth

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 00:00

Considering the state of Hamilton's intermediate tires he would have had to stop anyway for new ones in the event of rain.

Switching to slicks should have been a no brainer.

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#20 Markn93

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 00:02

I don't think there was any chance of Alonso and Perez pitting before Lewis, they were clearly waiting for him to pit so that they could cover him.

It was a conservative strategy, but in Lewis case it did make sense. In Jenson's case, no sense at all. And the comment from Jenson's RE showed that they weren't thinking very clearly.


Yeah it's possible this is the case, but they may have been enticed by Ricciardo and all the purple sectors by drivers on slicks. And didn't Alonso pit before Lewis anyway?

#21 BillBald

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 00:16

Yeah it's possible this is the case, but they may have been enticed by Ricciardo and all the purple sectors by drivers on slicks. And didn't Alonso pit before Lewis anyway?


Yes, he did pit one lap earlier, although they were both very late.

I suppose if McLaren really wanted to be adventurous, they could have left Lewis out for a few more laps, just in case it might rain!




#22 f1fastestlap

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:00

Yes.. that's kind of the point. They were handcuffed because the rain could have started at any time.

Look at it this way: You and your buddy work at the same office building, and you're giving him a lift home. He calls you right as you're about to leave and tells you he will be another 5 minutes. Now after 5 minutes, he still hasn't shown. Do you leave him, or wait longer? I'm sure I am in good company to say that I would (reluctantly) wait longer.

What McLaren did (in the case of Lewis) was wait around for 15 minutes before driving off: They stuck around on sub-optimal tires long enough to give them a chance, but not long enough so that it ruined the rest of their day.

Looking at it from that way, can you fault them?


The problem is that at some point you have make a decision, and that time was when Ricciardo pitted not 4 laps later and after the front runners pitted. If was the wrong call and some laps later it started to rain the time lost would have been gained by the difference in pace with slicks.
Ffs slicks were around 10s faster...
This thing they do, waiting for the weather that never comes as cost us valuable points in the past and will continue to cost us points in the future.
They need to adapt to the current situation when things are not so certain like it was in Malaysia...

#23 ClockworkRacing

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:47

Had it rained when Lewis had stayed out and Perez and Fernando pitted,it wouldĀ“ve been different

#24 BillBald

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:55

There's been a suggestion that setup was changed in the red flag period.

Does anyone have a link for that?





#25 Requin

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 03:12

The problem is that at some point you have make a decision, and that time was when Ricciardo pitted not 4 laps later and after the front runners pitted. If was the wrong call and some laps later it started to rain the time lost would have been gained by the difference in pace with slicks.
Ffs slicks were around 10s faster...
This thing they do, waiting for the weather that never comes as cost us valuable points in the past and will continue to cost us points in the future.
They need to adapt to the current situation when things are not so certain like it was in Malaysia...



Sounds like you're criticizing them for playing it smart instead of risking it all for the win. That's fine; not everyone is capable of strategic thinking.
I'll side with Whitmarsh and co. on this one. the F1 season is a marathon, not a track meet. Consistent podiums, not flashes of brilliance will win championships.



#26 robefc

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 07:43

The problem is that at some point you have make a decision, and that time was when Ricciardo pitted not 4 laps later and after the front runners pitted. If was the wrong call and some laps later it started to rain the time lost would have been gained by the difference in pace with slicks.
Ffs slicks were around 10s faster...
This thing they do, waiting for the weather that never comes as cost us valuable points in the past and will continue to cost us points in the future.
They need to adapt to the current situation when things are not so certain like it was in Malaysia...


What if it started to rain straight away.
I've totally changed my mind on this one, Ferrari and sauber would have reacted and nullified any advantage gained by pitting to slicks whilst Lewis would have been under threat from behind in event of rain, makes sense to me even though I'd have liked them to have gone for it.

#27 robefc

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 07:45

Considering the state of Hamilton's intermediate tires he would have had to stop anyway for new ones in the event of rain.

Switching to slicks should have been a no brainer.


Yes so one stop

If he pitted for slicks and it rained he'd need to pit again for inters - that's 2 stops

It's clearly not a no brainer, a quick read of this thread should confirm that regardless of what you decide they should have done with hindsight.

#28 karlth

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 08:03

Yes so one stop

If he pitted for slicks and it rained he'd need to pit again for inters - that's 2 stops


If he had pitted for slicks Hamilton would have taken recovered his pitstop time in around 2 laps. So staying on worn wets meant a possible slight advantage if it rained but a massive loss if it did not rain.

I would call that a no-brainer.






#29 skid solo

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 08:28

Ayrton Senna said that in a wet weather race, the most important thing is to switch to the right tire, no matter how many stops you have to do. I really believe that McLaren, along with other teams, waited too long to go to slicks because they hoped it would rain again soon. As Ricciardo proved, in 3 laps he recovered the time lost for his pitstop in relation to the leaders, so switching to slicks was the correct decision. I think that the lack of inters/wet tires data combined with the uncertainty of the weather made the decision somewhat difficult. However, if I was a McLaren strategist I would have brought Jenson in a few laps earlier since he was at the back of the field anyway and see if the conditions were right. That way, the team can gather useful data for Lewis and bring him in as well if the slicks are the better tires. Ferrari did this with Massa.

Now let's do an If scenario because these boards like them. Imagine that rain had come 3-4 laps after Ricciardo pitted. Who is to say that the guys that stayed out on inters would be at an advantage? We saw many cars struggling with the tire deg and the inters might have been shot already since they were running on them for 20 odd laps already. So, not only the guys staying out would have lost time in relation to those that pitted for slicks, but they might have to do another stops anyways because their inters were not in a good enough condition.


Sense +1

#30 PretentiousBread

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:18

Ayrton Senna said that in a wet weather race, the most important thing is to switch to the right tire, no matter how many stops you have to do. I really believe that McLaren, along with other teams, waited too long to go to slicks because they hoped it would rain again soon. As Ricciardo proved, in 3 laps he recovered the time lost for his pitstop in relation to the leaders, so switching to slicks was the correct decision. I think that the lack of inters/wet tires data combined with the uncertainty of the weather made the decision somewhat difficult. However, if I was a McLaren strategist I would have brought Jenson in a few laps earlier since he was at the back of the field anyway and see if the conditions were right. That way, the team can gather useful data for Lewis and bring him in as well if the slicks are the better tires. Ferrari did this with Massa.

Now let's do an If scenario because these boards like them. Imagine that rain had come 3-4 laps after Ricciardo pitted. Who is to say that the guys that stayed out on inters would be at an advantage? We saw many cars struggling with the tire deg and the inters might have been shot already since they were running on them for 20 odd laps already. So, not only the guys staying out would have lost time in relation to those that pitted for slicks, but they might have to do another stops anyways because their inters were not in a good enough condition.



I know people keep falling back on this one as if it's really that simple but unfortunately it's not, and there's tons of evidence for it not being that easy. Hamilton did that along with half the field in China 2010 and fell back for essentially making 2 unneccessary pit stops. Though he was probably briefly on the right tyre for just a lap or two, he had to take a hit of around 50+ seconds for the two subsequent pit stops. Similar thing happened at Hungary last year.

#31 BillBald

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 13:28

With hindsight

The best strategy for Jenson would have been to persevere with the bad inters, then be the first to take slicks. Jenson's biggest strong point is his pace on a damp track with slicks. If it had rained again, he would have been out of the points, but he was anyway.

I think part of the reason why Jenson didn't get onto slicks earlier was because his replacement inters were still in good condition, and he was making good progress, overtaking Ricciardo and Massa and then pulling away from them.

But then he found himself back behind Ricciardo again due to pitting too late for slicks.

McLaren's strategy should have been to get Jenson onto slicks as soon as possible. It actually seems as though they decided on a strategy for Lewis, then applied the same strategy to Jenson without giving it much thought.






#32 BillBald

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 23:29

Another weekend, another strategy puzzle.

We've been told that the poor pace in Malaysia was all about not making best use of the tyres in the damp and cooler conditions.

So in China, FP1 gives an opportunity to work with the inters, and McLaren (once again) stays in the pit while other teams get out on the track and learn the lessons.

They are worried that the cars might get damaged? It's risky driving on a wet track?

And sending the drivers out in a race with little experience of the tyres - that's not risky?



#33 Kelateboy

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 01:04

:rotfl: :rotfl:

Whatever you can say about China 2007 -not that they brought him in too soon!
They should have brought Hamilton in way earlier!

But then - they "were racing Alonso"..... A very, very human mistake to make ;)

They stayed out for too long in China because they were racing their own teammate. Then Hamilton went into the pit too hot, and beached his car on the pit entrance. He could have been the 1st rookie WDC that year.....

#34 BillBald

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 23:04

Does anyone have any thoughts on McLaren strategy in China?

Did they pit the guys too early (especially Lewis), maybe because they were spooked by Webber's pace?

Could they have tried a 2-stop?

Would it have made a difference if they'd used primes for the 2nd stint?

I found it interesting that DRS didn't seem to work that well, my thought it that it's because all the teams are now following Red Bull's lead and setting the gearing for max race pace - too low for DRS overtaking.





#35 robefc

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 23:10

Does anyone have any thoughts on McLaren strategy in China?

Did they pit the guys too early (especially Lewis), maybe because they were spooked by Webber's pace?

Could they have tried a 2-stop?

Would it have made a difference if they'd used primes for the 2nd stint?

I found it interesting that DRS didn't seem to work that well, my thought it that it's because all the teams are now following Red Bull's lead and setting the gearing for max race pace - too low for DRS overtaking.


This article covers it all rather well, nothing to add really.

http://www.f1fanatic...gies-pit-stops/

I also found the decision to pit Lewis first in the first stint interesting, been discussed in the versus thread, Tkulla's explanation that it's only if the lead driver is going to be disadvantaged that they will not allow second driver to pit makes sense, in this case it was Lewis that needed to react to webber first and JB who had the chance to get a big enough gap to come out in front of traffic.

#36 trogggy

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 23:14

Does anyone have any thoughts on McLaren strategy in China?

Did they pit the guys too early (especially Lewis), maybe because they were spooked by Webber's pace?

Could they have tried a 2-stop?

Would it have made a difference if they'd used primes for the 2nd stint?

I found it interesting that DRS didn't seem to work that well, my thought it that it's because all the teams are now following Red Bull's lead and setting the gearing for max race pace - too low for DRS overtaking.

Firstly I think they maximised their points today - they were unlikely to catch Nico whatever happened.
Pitting Lewis to cover Webber was sensible, unless they were 2 stopping. JB only ran 1 extra lap, and he had a lap less on his tyres at the start anyway.
Primes on the second stint was probably the way to go.
As for the 2-stopper it's impossible to say - we just don't have enough information on how hard the car is on the tyres. It wouldn't (imo) have brought a better result than 2nd and 3rd, and if they'd done it and one or both Mclarens had done a 'Kimi' towards the end there would be wailing and gnashing of teeth going on. My impression is that the Red Bull is kinder on its tyres than the Mac, and Vettel was on the edge of the cliff by the end. So - pit-stop problem apart - I think they did a pretty good job today.

#37 Octavian

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 23:24

The problem with McLaren is that they seem so wrapped up in other team's strategy - you always hear them saying "we were racing such and such" and "we did this to cover such and such" which is great if it works but often it simply compromises their races. They should focus on a strategy and make it work not compromise everything to jump at a shadow. Thankfully today the car was good enough to allow them to overcome a poor strategy but it was closer than it should have been because there is no way their two drivers should have had to fight through the midfield like that.

So McLaren either jump at shadows in a race and pit way too early with the wrong tyres or they become utterly negligent in terms of pit stop strategy. Every time a McLaren driver comes in to the pits I wonder A) What mistake will the pit crew make and B) Who will have got the jump on them in the stop. In the rain is the worst as they seem incapable of following the golden rule of wet racing which is no matter how many stops it might take always always have the right tyre on - McLaren simply can't grasp that, it cost them a win in Malaysia and a good few others over recent years - it even cost them a championship in 2007 at China, that was unforgivable.

How many times have any of you screamed at the TV when McLaren have made an obvious strategy mistake? I can't count the number of times. I'm not an expert on strategy but if even viewers like me at home can call a race right why can't they? The team needs a serious overhaul of their methods. Right now they have the most consistently fast car on the grid - they should be building up a massive buffer of points for when rival teams start bringing in the big updates for Europe but instead they are failing to maximise that advantage and that's been down to poor pit stops and strategy. I'd really hate for the team to throw away another title but I have no faith in the calls they make during a race.

#38 Dunder

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 23:41

We could discuss this race forever frankly.

On the basis of a 3-stopper, the timing of the stops was fine. With the field so closely bunched traffic was always going to be an issue. In general, Jenson was able to clear that traffic a littke bit quicker today. Lewis lost around 6 seconds behind Perez which is the main factor behind him being P10 after all the pitstops. Covering Webber on the 3rd round of stops would have meant 21 laps for the final stint, Raikkonen lost 8 places on the 20th lap of his stint, so I think it would have been a big risk.

Could a 2-stopper have worked? Calls for speculation and the truth is we just don't know. It did for Vettel (albeit with fresh tyres available) and Rosberg, it did not for Raikkonen.

#39 BillBald

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:53

I certainly don't feel that McLaren messed up in a major way, or threw away a win.

I was puzzled to see them take the options for the 2nd stint, considering the laps that Webber was putting in. It seemed rather as though they were following the same pattern as they followed last year, only using the primes at the end. Of course this year the primes are much more likely to be a viable race tyre, so it seems they need to rethink this aspect of their strategy.

Pit stops were good apart from 'that one', and I was especially impressed by the way Alonso followed Lewis into the pits, probably very confident that Ferrari would get him out ahead - based on the teams' performance in the first 2 races, that must have seemed like a no-brainer.




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#40 BillBald

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 18:01

A couple of interesting points raised by quali:

It seemed to me that Macca were living dangerously in Q1 and Q2, running early and then resisting the temptation to go out again on an improving track. But they got away with it. :)

For the first time this year, Jenson and especially Lewis have considerably higher speed trap figures than the Red Bulls. This suggests to me that they are thinking there's a big risk of dropping back into the pack when they pit, as happened in China of course. The problem is that if Vettel is able to take the lead at the start, with his better race gearing he should be able to pull well clear, so we'll just have to hope that he then gets stuck after pitting.



#41 Dunder

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 01:28

A couple of interesting points raised by quali:

It seemed to me that Macca were living dangerously in Q1 and Q2, running early and then resisting the temptation to go out again on an improving track. But they got away with it. :)

For the first time this year, Jenson and especially Lewis have considerably higher speed trap figures than the Red Bulls. This suggests to me that they are thinking there's a big risk of dropping back into the pack when they pit, as happened in China of course. The problem is that if Vettel is able to take the lead at the start, with his better race gearing he should be able to pull well clear, so we'll just have to hope that he then gets stuck after pitting.


In Q2, I don't think there was any issue at all.

In Q1, both cars were ahead of Schumacher on the timesheets and when they saw that Vergne had not improved, then really Schumacher was the only one that could relegate Lewis to P18 and as long as Schumacher was in the garage, that couldn't happen.

The gearing is interesting. As you say the first stint is likely to be quite short and with a net pit time loss of 21 seconds, the leaders will fall into traffic. Lewis lost a lot of time behind Massa and especially Perez in China so the additional straight line speed should come in handy to avoid that. In terms of the Red Bulls, well they always tend to gear short but Vettel especially also had big problems clearing slower cars in China as a result of that.


#42 Kelateboy

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 01:51

I don't understand why they took off a lot of wing in Hamilton's car (fact) and assuming they did with JB as well.They had the pace and were a lock for a 1-2 then the race is red flagged,setup is changed at least in Ham's car and the 27 turns into a turtle.

When did McLaren take some wings off Hamilton's car? Can you provide me a link to this.

#43 BillBald

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 01:55

In Q2, I don't think there was any issue at all.

In Q1, both cars were ahead of Schumacher on the timesheets and when they saw that Vergne had not improved, then really Schumacher was the only one that could relegate Lewis to P18 and as long as Schumacher was in the garage, that couldn't happen.

The gearing is interesting. As you say the first stint is likely to be quite short and with a net pit time loss of 21 seconds, the leaders will fall into traffic. Lewis lost a lot of time behind Massa and especially Perez in China so the additional straight line speed should come in handy to avoid that. In terms of the Red Bulls, well they always tend to gear short but Vettel especially also had big problems clearing slower cars in China as a result of that.


The problem is that it was crucial to make a decision in time to do an out-lap, and it's not been unusual for teams to waste a set of tyres in this kind of situation, so I think McLaren deserve some credit for keeping their nerve.

Alternatively you could imagine that they were being very indecisive, and wouldn't have been able to respond if it had been necessary. :)

#44 BillBald

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 02:02

When did McLaren take some wings off Hamilton's car? Can you provide me a link to this.


This relates to Malaysia. The suspicion was raised that McLaren changed something in the setup during the red flag period, because before the red flag both cars were easily pulling away from the field.

It's a reasonable suspicion, but I don't think there's any definite evidence.



#45 UnspecialEffects

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 07:18

Hamilton's side of the garage does sometimes look like it's trying to be too clever and goes for the riskier option, which then doesn't work out.

I think they need to just stay calm and accept events that may lose them a spot or two during the race instead of scrambling to save a win.

#46 Disgrace

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 12:21

This is beginning to remind me of Williams in 1995 when they handed Benetton wins almost every week with pitstops that were usually 10 seconds longer.

#47 MTC

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 12:25

Seriously, is it that hard to screw on a wheel right!?!

#48 Requin

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 12:27

McLaren's pitstops are getting to be a joke. They cannot expect to compete in the world championship if they give time away like that in pit stops.

#49 Octavian

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 12:31

They're throwing the championship away.

Heads must roll for this - once is forgiveable, twice is rotten luck but THREE times?? That's simply inept.

#50 mlsnoopy

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 12:34

So Button ahead beacause of another team mistake. Damm is he a good driver.