The Pirelli tyres paid a key role in the Spanish Grand Prix, with a mixture of two and three stop strategies being employed by drivers up and down the field. Just as in Bahrain, the order in which tyres were used also played a key factor in deciding the outcome of the race.
Lewis Hamilton ran a two-stop race to win, using a medium-medium-hard strategy. His Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg also did a two-stop race but ran a medium-hard-medium strategy that was the faster option on the day but he could not find away past his team-mate around the challenging Circuit de Catalunya track.
Sebastian Vettel used a three-stop strategy to move up from his fifteenth place on the grid to fourth at the flag, mainly running on the faster, medium tyre. His Red Bull Racing team-mate Daniel Ricciardo ran the longest stint on the medium tyre of 31 laps during the race, the same number as Lotus driver Romain Grosjean’s longest stint on the harder tyre.
Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery was happy about how his companies tyres performed throughout the race, with the fears of a repeat of the 2013 four-stop race turning out to be incorrect.
“We saw some very exciting battles all the way down the top 10 in the closing stages of the race, despite many of the drivers having chosen very different strategies,” said Hembery. “This underlines the importance of strategy in every race this year, with not just the number of stops but also the order in which the tyres are used really making a difference.
“Following some overnight rain, ambient and track temperatures were cooler today, and this reduced the time difference between the hard and medium compounds: adding another factor into the equation. Although Barcelona is one of the most demanding circuits of the year, tyre wear and degradation was fully under control, as proved by the fact that the majority of drivers completed just two pit stops. That’s down to the hard work of all our team in Milan and Izmit since last year, so a big thank you to all of them.
“Now we focus on the second in-season test of the year, where we will be developing tyres for 2015.”
The teams remain in Spain for the second of the in-season tests at the circuit this week, with Sauber and Toro Rosso becoming the latest teams to test tyres for Pirelli on day one, with McLaren and Force India running for the tyre company on day two.