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James Allen: UBS racing strategy report for Formula 1 in Monza

Thursday, September 7th, 2017 | Sports

07. September 2017 – 12:56

Strategically, the race was interesting despite the strike strategy

© cafetheology.org

(cafetheology.org) – From the training on Friday it was clear that Mercedes had for Monza the stronger package. This was not unexpected. Ferrari got the vote on Friday but not under the handle and could not fix it on Saturday due to the rain. After a weak performance in qualifying, Ferrari was not only behind Mercedes, but also behind the two Mercedes customer teams Williams and Force India. Here we will analyze what happened from that moment, which brought the Ferrari out of the concept and the tactics which has just as much to do with the next race in Singapore as with Monza. We will also look at how Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull took a counter-strategy from Sergio Perez's Monza strategic hand to secure a fantastic fourth place and beat Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari. Strangely enough, however, Perez did not stick to his own rules book this time. Pre-race expectations Monza has traditionally been a one-stop race because of the speed of the cars on the track of 360 km / h compared to the 80km / h in the pit lane Stops pretty unattractive. This year, Pirelli brought the Supersoft tires back to Monza as well as the soft and medium mixes. As usual in this season, when the hard mix was available, the teams used only the two softer tire mixtures in the race. Both held about 30 laps in the race and there was no significant difference in speed from Supersoft to Soft. It was quite clear, however, in which rounds the stops would take place. The wear was on the race day, as expected, but lower than on Friday, so there was a certain margin. The race was unusual in some points. As it had raced in qualifying, the teams were free to choose which tires they wanted to race, and the top 10 did not have to start as usual on the tires from qualifying. Most decided for Supersoft to have better grip at the start. And it was also a race without a single yellow flag, which is extremely rare.

Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll were in the running for outsider spice

© LAT

In the starting stage, the two Mercedess were in the top four, separated by the customer teams Williams with Lance Stroll and Force India with Esteban Ocon. The Ferraris were in fifth and sixth place, with Räikkönen standing in front of Vettel. In the second place, Verstappen and Ricciardo, who had been given motorcycles, decided to start on the soft tire. The early stages of the race, when both were slowed down by slow cars, was the best time to use these tires, and later on to benefit from faster tires you have to stop early because the Supersoft mixture does not last until the end of the race and you have to stop again (since the regulations stipulate that two mixtures must be used in the race). This is exactly what happened after his touch with Massa and it ruined his race.Alonso and Grozjean were on the same strategy as Red Bull. For Alonso, who likes to start on the same tire as the top, no matter how far he is in the rear, that was unusual.Ricciardo – from 16 to four and ahead of Raikkonen. One of the best riders of the day was Daniel Ricciardo, who came up to a place on the podium after four seconds, after starting a motoring as 16th. He applied the same counterstrategy with which he had already moved from 15th to eighth place in 2015, and Sergio Perez had also been very successful in Sauber as he drove from position 12 to position two on the harder tire, runs a longer first stint and then attacks the softer tire at the end. This works very well in Monza because you can overtake there.Ricciardo's goal was the Ferraris. In the free practice on Friday it looked as if the Red Bulls could compete with the Ferraris. But he had a lot of cars in front of him and would lose time on the Ferraris, except these would be stopped by Ocon and Stroll. Vettel walked past them, but Raikkonen had problems with them – and that was the beginning of the end. Force India and Williams fought their own battle for fourth place in the constructors' championship and were therefore concentrating on themselves and their own strategies during this race. When Ocon strolled over at the start, the teenager stayed, and Raikkonen followed the pair. What can be done in the situation of Ferrari is wait until they mutually overtake each other during the pit stop, stay out longer and take them through the better Ferrari- Power on your own stop.

Kimi Räikkönen's strategy went backwards

© cafetheology.org

In this case, however, this did not happen, because Räikkönen asked for new tires, before Ferrari called him into the box in round 15. The problem is that an undercut only works when the new tires in your garage are significantly faster than the ones on your car. In this situation, it was not the case at the end of lap 14, with little wear and tear.Räikkönen conceded a stroll, as the Canadian had a slow slow stop, but Ocon was able to keep both behind him and defend his position. Ricciardo and Red Bull played in the cards. He drove a long first stint and then grabbed Raikkonen when his new Supersofts were superior to Raikkonen's used team. In the end, he was able to challenge Vettel almost third place; but the Ferrari driver was able to defend himself.Force India and Williams forward in front of the midfield as normalBefore we take a step back and consider the role of the two outliers in this racing situation. The racing circuit graphic (bottom) is quite informative this week. The Force-India and Williams cars had a higher power leap on the midfield than normally and more than in Canada – another circuit with little downforce. So what was the reason for this? Well, a theory has to do with what decision Mercedes had made regarding the engine settings at Ocons and Stroll's car on Sunday (as well as with the factory cars). Because they had Stroll and Ocon as buffers between themselves and Ferrari, they had the opportunity to get maximum points against their rivals and at the same time to humiliate the Scuderia on local territory, which would inevitably have consequences.

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