2015 Brazilian Grand Prix – Race

NICO ROSBERG WINS THE PENULTIMATE GP OF THE SEASON WITH A THREE-STOP STRATEGY FROM POLE

WIDE VARIETY OF STRATEGY OPTIONS AT WORK THROUGHOUT THE FIELD, WITH A MIXTURE OF TWO AND THREE STOPS

TYRE WEAR AND DEGRADATION DROPS DURING THE RACE AS TEMPERATURES GET LOWER

Sao Paulo, November 15, 2015 – Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg won the Brazilian Grand Prix with a three-stop strategy, running one stint on the P Zero Yellow soft tyre followed by three remaining stints on the P Zero White medium tyre.

Rosberg was able to hold off his team mate Lewis Hamilton – on a similar strategy – from start to finish, maintaining his advantage from lights to flag without losing the effective lead of the race. Track temperatures remained warm, albeit cooler than the 50 degrees seen during qualifying, while the threatened rain did not occur. The track temperature progressively dropped however throughout the race, ending up at 35 degrees, which reduced wear and degradation in the later stages.

The top three all used a three-stop strategy, but there was a wide variety of tactics at work behind them. The highest-placed two-stopper by the end of the race was Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who used the strategy to gain fourth by the end of the grand prix, finishing just off the podium behind his Ferrari team mate Sebastian Vettel.

All the drivers started on the soft tyre with the exception of Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz and Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado. The Venezuelan completed a long opening stint on his medium tyres, while Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg completed an even longer closing stint with the same compound – underlining the variety of strategic thinking in the closely fought race. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo also adopted an alternative strategy to climb seven places from his grid position, switching from soft to medium on lap two.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “With weather conditions warm but uncertain, strategy was always going to be a key element of the Brazilian Grand Prix. Rosberg’s considered approach to tyre management over the course of the whole weekend once again proved to be a key element of his victory, which was very well deserved. However, there were a number of drivers operating a two-stop race. We saw some long stints on the medium compound that helped drivers gain track position.”

Fastest times of the day by compound:

 Medium  Soft Intermediate Wet
First  Ham 1m14.832s  Vet 1m15.614s 0 0
Second  Ros 1m14.957s  Gro 1m15.739s 0 0
Third  Vet 1m15.046s  Eri 1m15.789s 0 0

Longest stint of the race:

Medium  Hulkenberg (35 laps)
Soft  Alonso         (20 laps)
 Button

Truth-O-Meter

We predicted that the most likely fastest strategy for the 71 laps of Brazil was a two-stopper, starting on the soft and then changing to the medium on laps 17 and 44. Rosberg (and Hamilton) went for a soft-medium-medium-medium three-stop strategy, stopping on laps 14, 34 and 49. Hamilton’s identical strategy meant that he stopped one lap later than his team-mate on each occasion.