2022 Spanish Grand Prix - Sunday
THE RACE TYRE STORY
- Red Bull driver Max Verstappen used a three-stop strategy and went from second on the grid to race victory and the championship lead. He alternated between the P Zero Red soft tyre (with which he started the race) and the P Zero Yellow medium, on which he finished it.
- His team mate Sergio Perez and Mercedes driver George Russell, who also finished on the podium, both used a different three-stop strategy: soft-medium-medium-soft.
- Everyone chose to start on the P Zero Red soft tyre, with the exception of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who selected the P Zero Yellow medium. Having dropped to the back of the field following contact on the opening lap, Hamilton climbed back to fourth overall thanks to a three-stop strategy – with his first stop after lap one, making it effectively a two-stopper.
- Valtteri Bottas was the highest-placed actual two-stopper, in P6. Just four of the finishers stopped twice, with three different strategies in play.
- Ambient and track temperatures were the highest they had been all weekend today, peaking at 51 degrees centigrade on track. Despite these punishing conditions, the drivers favoured the soft and medium compounds.
HOW THE COMPOUNDS MADE THE DIFFERENCE
- HARD C1: The hardest tyre in the range was considered to be too slow compared to the other options today. Only Haas driver Kevin Magnussen used it, for a long final stint. However, comparing his times to equivalent cars on the medium tyre, the lap times were actually not dissimilar.
- MEDIUM C2: The key compound to this race, capable of completing long stints without compromising performance. However, Hamilton was the only driver to choose it for the start.
- SOFT C3: The revelation of the race, which offered a strong resistance to the high energy and thermal demands of Barcelona today while delivering a notable pace advantage. The soft also claimed fastest lap in the hands of Perez.
“This was certainly one of the biggest tests that our new 18-inch tyres have faced all year, thanks to a high-energy circuit with big degradation expected and track temperatures that exceeded 50 degrees centigrade. We can say now that they coped with the challenge very well, and what makes their performance even more impressive is that the drivers concentrated on just the softer tyres nominated here. In particular, the soft tyre was a revelation, with nearly all the drivers choosing it for the start and many of them running the soft for the bulk of the race. There was a wide variety of strategies seen throughout the field, with drivers willing to push the limits and target three stops, adding to the spectacle of an extremely hard-fought race: also because these cars make it easier to overtake. Congratulations to Red Bull for a decisive one-two; now we move on to a very different challenge in Monaco next weekend.”
- Felipe Drugovich made it two wins out of two, backing up his Sprint Race victory yesterday with another in today’s 37-lap Formula 2 Feature Race. The MP Motorsport driver completed a longer initial stint (from P10 on the grid) on the P Zero Red soft tyres than anyone else until lap 18, then hauled his way up the field once more when he switched to the P Zero White hard. Clement Novalak, in the other MP car, was the highest-placed of seven drivers to run the alternative strategy (hard to soft), finishing the race fifth after starting from P12 on the grid and making his sole stop on lap 24. Impressive tyre management, with Drugovich able to extend his opening soft stint despite the very hot conditions, was key to the race victory.
- ART Grand Prix’s Victor Martins won the 24-lap Formula 3 Feature Race from second on the grid, having got past Trident’s Roman Stanek early, who started from pole. The race was interrupted by two safety car periods – one shortly after the start and the other around halfway through the race – that reduced degradation on the P Zero White hard tyre nominated for this weekend. Ambient temperatures were around 30 degrees with track temperatures of 37 degrees for this morning’s race.