The ‘wrong tyres’ give Vettel a pit-stop edge in Monaco
It seems pit-stop confusion may have aided Sebastian Vettel in securing victory at the Monaco Grand Prix. The Red Bull Racing driver pulled into the pit on lap 16 in response to a change of rubber made by nearest rival Jenson Button. His team intended to keep the PZero Red super soft tyres on his car, however a problem with the team’s communication system led to a switch to the primary Yellow soft tyres. Thanks to this radio mix-up, Vettel was able to avoid a later pit-stop. Race commentators say the German driver’s ability to continue on the soft tyres until the red flag was hung out late in the race proved key to his Monaco victory.
While Vettel stopped just once, rivals Fernando Alonso opted for two pit-stops and Jenson Button three. “We were privileged to see one of the closest ever battles for victory in Monaco, the most prestigious race of the year,” commented Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery. “The top three used completely different tyre strategies but came out more or less together, which is exactly what we were aiming for at the start of the year. It’s great to see the tyre strategy forming such a prominent part of the action; giving us a fascinating battle for the lead where any of the top three drivers would have been very deserving winners. Had it not been for the red flag in the closing stages, I’m sure that their fight would have continued all the way to the very end.”