Sebastian Vettel wins for Ferrari with a one-stop strategy in track temperatures over 122 degrees fahrenheit

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton comes fourth with a soft-supersoft tire one-stop strategy, after starting from the pit lane

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo goes from 14th on the grid to sixth with two pit stops

Ferrari’s Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel won the Brazilian Grand Prix with a one stop strategy, going from the Pirelli supersoft to soft tire. Vettel took the lead in the action-packed first lap of the race and maintained this advantage to the finish – also making his sole pit stop without losing the race lead.

Two alternative strategies provided other highlights during the race. Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton was forced to start from the pit lane and worked his way up the field, after being one of just five drivers to start the race on the more durable soft tire. Hamilton pitted from the lead on lap 43, rejoined in fifth place, using the extra speed of the supersoft tire to help him finish fourth overall.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo also started on the Pirelli soft tire from 14th on the grid after a penalty, but dropped even further down the order after being caught in the early race drama, so he had to stop for a fresh set of soft tires on lap one. He then stopped again for supersoft tires later in the race, working his way up to sixth at the finish. His team mate Max Verstappen also used a two-stop strategy, finishing fifth after a late stop for more supersoft tires.

MARIO ISOLA – PIRELLI’S HEAD OF CAR RACING
“Today we experienced the hottest track temperatures that we have seen so far this weekend by some margin; largely in excess of 122 degrees fahrenheit at the start of the race. Nonetheless, most of the frontrunners were able to complete the race with just one pit stop as expected, helped by an early safety car. Lewis Hamilton in particular drove an extraordinary race, setting fastest laps on old soft tires even when surrounded by cars on newer supersoft tires. Red Bull also proved that an alternative strategy could work, with both cars finishing strongly despite Daniel Ricciardo being forced into an extra stop at the end of the first lap. We now remain at Interlagos for the final 2018 tire test of the year, with McLaren on Tuesday and Wednesday, before all the teams get the chance to experience next year’s tires for the first time at Abu Dhabi after the last grand prix of the season.”

BEST TIME BY TIRE COMPOUND

LONGEST STINT OF THE RACE

TIRE COMPOUND DRIVER LAPS
MEDIUM - -
SOFT Wehrlein 69
SUPERSOFT Perez 35

TRUTHOMETER
We predicted the winning strategy to be a one-stopper, switching from the supersoft to soft tire between laps 26 and 32 – and Sebastian Vettel was right on schedule, making his single stop on lap 28. The same tactic was adopted by Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who finished second, pitting one lap before the German.

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