2020 Eifel Grand Prix - Race
- Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton took his 91st career win to equal Michael Schumacher’s record. Hamilton, locked in a close duel with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, stopped twice, going from P Zero Red soft tyres to P Zero Yellow medium, to soft tyres again for the final stint. Verstappen followed an identical strategy, stopping on the same laps as Hamilton.
- The strategy was influenced by a virtual safety car and then a safety car. At the virtual safety car, around quarter of the way into the race, a number of drivers made their first stops: including the top three finishers. When the safety car came out, several drivers made their second stops: again including the podium finishers. There was then effectively a 10-lap sprint race to the finish, with the frontrunners on soft tyres.
- Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo finished third, using a similar strategy to the top three. In doing so, he sealed Renault’s first podium since 2011.
- Just one driver stopped only once: Haas’s Romain Grosjean, who moved from the medium to the P Zero White hard tyre on lap 28 and finished ninth from 16th on the grid.
- The highest climber was Racing Point’s Nico Hulkenberg, who started 20th after being drafted in for qualifying, and finished eighth: having followed the same tyre strategy as the top five (soft-medium-soft).
- Temperatures remained cold: just 11 degrees ambient at the end of the race, with 19 degrees of track temperature. This made keeping the tyres in the right temperature window particularly challenging: especially at the safety car re-start.
HOW EACH TYRE PERFORMED
- HARD C2: Only four drivers used the hard tyre during the race, with two of them finishing in the top 10. The two AlphaTauri drivers (Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat) and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel used the hard during the middle stint. This was something of a surprise as it had not been run extensively during the sole practice session, but indicated that the Teams were nonetheless familiar with its characteristics.
- MEDIUM C3: Used for the bulk of the race and by only four drivers at the start: both AlphaTauri drivers, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, and Haas driver Romain Grosjean. This performed well during medium to long stints, despite the lack of pre-race data on long runs.
- SOFT C4: Used by most drivers at the start, with some long stints at the beginning of the race on this compound from the Racing Point duo of Sergio Perez and Hulkenberg, as well as McLaren’s Carlos Sainz: all of whom didn’t stop under the first virtual safety car. Even with the cars on full fuel, the soft performed well and didn’t display much degradation during the first stint after the start. Verstappen also set the fastest lap on this compound on the final lap.
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING
“Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton for equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 wins, and also Kimi Raikkonen for racking up a new record of grand prix starts. This was an extremely unusual race with the cold weather and lack of running on Friday, All the preparation work was done in one session on Saturday, but although there was no information about tyre wear, it emerged that there was less graining than expected, which prompted some teams to think about stopping only once. In the end, we some saw some light graining on the soft compound, but this did not influence the race outcome. The race strategy was largely influenced by the two safety cars – virtual and real – which were perfectly timed for the frontrunners and gave us all an exciting finale.”
|BEST TIME BY COMPOUND|
|LONGEST STINT OF THE RACE|
|SOFT C4||Norris, Hulkenberg||29|
|PIT STOP SUMMARY|
|CAR||DRIVER||START||PIT 1||PIT 2|
|44||HAM||C4u||C3n (16)||C4u (45)|
|33||VER||C4u||C3n (16)||C4u (45)|
|3||RIC||C4u||C3n (16)||C4u (44)|
|11||PER||C4u||C3n (28)||C4u (45)|
|55||SAI||C4u||C3n (28)||C4u (44)|
|10||GAS||C3n||C2n (30)||C4n (44)|
|16||LEC||C4u||C3n (10)||C3u (35)|
|27||HUL||C4n||C3n (29)||C4n (44)|
|99||GIO||C4n||C3n (15)||C3n (36)|
|5||VET||C3n||C2n (11)||C4n (41)|
|7||RAI||C4n||C3n (10)||C4n (44)|
|20||MAG||C4n||C3n (14)||C3n (34)|
|6||LAT||C4n||C3n (14)||C3n (33)|
|26||KVY||C3n||C2n (17)||C4n (44)|
C2 = Hard C2 | C3 = Medium C3 | C4 = Soft C4
n = new | u = used