Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton won the final grand prix of the 2019 season with a one-stop medium-hard strategy. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in second used the same strategy at Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, but the third-placed Ferrari of Charles Leclerc added a final soft stint to his medium-hard run plan, taking advantage of the red tyre’s extra speed in the crucial closing stages of the race. Hamilton never lost the lead after gaining pole position in qualifying. He completed a hat-trick with a fastest lap on the hard tyre, which broke a lap record at Yas Marina that had stood since 2009.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won the Russian Grand Prix from second on the grid with one pit stop, moving from the medium to the soft tyre under a virtual safety car. His team mate Valtteri Bottas, who finished second, adopted the same strategy. Behind them there was a wide variety of tactics seen throughout the 53-lap race, which featured two safety cars: one straight after the start, and one just over the halfway point.
Testing of Pirelli’s 2018 Formula 1 tyres took place at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit over a two-day period this week, and following the conclusion of proceedings the tyre maker is proud to report that four-time and current champion Lewis Hamilton has declared the new PZero Pink hypersoft tyre the “best tyre Pirelli has ever made.”
Yesterday’s Mexican Grand Prix delivered Lewis Hamilton his fourth drivers’ title, not to mention a moment of bated breath in the very first round as Hamilton’s Mercedes made contact with the Ferrari of closest title contender Sebastian Vettel. The collision, comments Pirelli, added an extra tactical element to the race, as both protagonists were forced to deviate from the expected one-stop strategy.
The first ever wet Singapore Grand Prix saw the top six starting on Pirelli’s Cinturato Green intermediate tyre and a mixture of Cinturato Blue wets and intermediates further down the grid. the early safety car periods provided the opportunity for some drivers to change from wet to intermediate tyres, while Daniel Ricciardo, who had started on intermediates, opted to change to a fresh set of intermediates. The Red Bull driver finished the grand prix second, behind the Mercedes of race winner Lewis Hamilton.
Mercedes, led by Lewis Hamilton, took the top two podium steps at Monza’s Italian grand prix as nearly every driver chose a one-stop supersoft-soft strategy. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo adopted a different strategy, starting on a soft and moving to the supersoft for the second stint to move 12 places up from his starting position of 16th on the grid – the result of penalties. The Australian also set the fastest lap of the race, which was two seconds faster than last year’s equivalent, using the same tyres.
On one of the most demanding circuits for tyres Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won Formula One’s Belgian Grand Prix ahead of Sebastian Vettel after what was effectively a sprint race in the final laps. The race was turned on its head by a safety car on lap 30, which gave drivers the opportunity for a ‘free’ pit stop. Hamilton, in the lead, ran the soft tyre for his final stint, while Vettel went for the ultrasoft: theoretically more than one second per lap faster.
Lewis Hamilton’s victory on a drying track in Shanghai was garnished with a fastest lap four seconds quicker than in the 2016 race, set on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft compound tyre. The exclusive tyre manufacturer has promised a leap in speed equating to such improvements in lap times this season as a result of both the latest specification cars and the manufacturer’s new, larger tyres.
Lewis Hamilton won the last grand prix run on the current Pirelli Formula One tyre range in Abu Dhabi, but was pipped to the drivers’ championship by Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, who finished second, using identical two-stop strategies. The tyre supplier called the Yas Marina-hosted grand prix “the last race in the era of deliberately high tyre degradation”, with its latest, larger range of P Zero slicks and Cinturato wets unveiled in the emirate before the weekend’s racing began. The final development test for the 2017 will begin on Tuesday, 29 November, with Mercedes, Red Bull, and Ferrari appearing on track together in modified 2015 mule cars.
The FIA has told Pirelli each team’s tyre choices for the season closing grand prix of Abu Dhabi on 25-27 November. Championship leader Nico Rosberg and second-placed Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who has a chance of pipping the German to victory, will both use the same selection: four sets of the P Zero Yellow soft, two of the Red supersoft, and seven of the Purple ultrasoft.
Despite the delays, the Brazilian grand prix became a “fantastic spectacle,” with plenty of overtaking and action on Pirelli’s wet range of Formula One tyres. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished first, completing the full race on the Cinturato Blue full wet tyre only following two days of largely dry running at Interlagos. Hamilton won without making a racing pit stop, though he did change tyres twice, going from full wets to another set of wets under both red flag stoppages.
Pirelli said that a number of different strategies were in play at the German Grand Prix, with mostly three stops seen and many teams splitting their race strategies. Mercedes was one of these teams, with race winner Lewis Hamilton alternating the supersoft and soft tyre. Polesitter Nico Rosberg started with two sets of supersoft and then ended the race on two sets of soft.
Any tyre strategies planned ahead of the British grand prix at Silverstone were forced to be reconsidered after a torrential rain shower forced the entire grid to start the race behind a safety car on Pirelli’s Cinturato Blue full wet tyre. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won for the fourth time at home using three different Pirelli tyre compounds. When the safety car came in after five laps, a number of drivers went straight onto the Cinturato Green intermediate, while the leaders took advantage of a virtual safety car to switch to the intermediate shortly afterwards.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was victorious in Austria, winning the Austrian Grand Prix from pole position using a two-stop strategy. Teammate Nico Rosberg collided with Hamilton as the Briton passed him on the final lap of an action-packed grand prix, having used the timing of his pit stop tyre strategy to boost his position, “undercutting” a number of drivers including his team mate (who started from pole) to lead the race. Following contact with Hamilton, Rosberg’s car sustained front wing damage, leading to his fourth place finish. More worryingly for tyre supplier Pirelli was the blowout that ended Sebastian Vettel’s grand prix, the causes of which the manufacturer said it was investigating with the constructor, Ferrari.
Though the Monaco Grand Prix got underway behind a safety car in wet conditions, with all drivers starting on the Cinturato Blue full wet tyres, Lewis Hamilton won on Pirelli’s new P Zero Purple ultrasoft, marking a successful race debut for Pirelli’s newest F1 tyre. The safety car came in after seven laps, with most drivers eventually switching to intermediates. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was one of just two competitors to stay out on the full wets as the circuit dried, switching straight to P Zero Purple ultrasoft on lap 31.