2016 Monaco Grand Prix – Race

 LEWIS HAMILTON CLAIMS VICTORY FROM SECOND ON THE GRID,
MOVING FROM FULL WETS TO ULTRASOFT ON ITS RACE DEBUT

 WET RACE START THROWS STRATEGY CALCULATIONS WIDE OPEN:
ALL FIVE TYPES OF TYRE AVAILABLE USED DURING THE GRAND PRIX

 TWO-STOP STRATEGY ADOPTED BY THE MAJORITY OF COMPETITORS,
STARTING ON WETS, THEN ONTO INTERMEDIATES, THEN SLICKS

Monaco, May 29, 2016 – The Monaco Grand Prix got underway behind a safety car in wet conditions, which altered the complexion of race strategy entirely, as all the drivers had to start on the Cinturato Blue full wet tyres (in accordance with the regulations).
The safety car came in after seven laps, with most drivers eventually switching to intermediates. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was one of just two competitors to stay out on the full wets as the circuit dried, switching straight to P Zero Purple ultrasoft on lap 31.
Polesitter Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) went to the P Zero Red supersoft one lap later after a long pit stop, emerging directly behind Hamilton, which was the start of a brilliant duel for the lead between them.
An alternative strategy was adopted by Force India’s Sergio Perez, who finished third from eighth on the grid, going from the intermediate to the P Zero Yellow soft tyre.
All five types of tyre brought to Monaco – full wet, intermediate, soft, supersoft and ultrasoft – were used extensively throughout the race. Because it was a wet race at the beginning, there was no obligation to run at least two slick compounds. The Mercedes driver ran for a full 47 laps on the ultrasoft, which had never been seen before in testing or free practice, setting fastest lap close to the end of the race.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “At the start of the race, in wet conditions, teams had to judge where the crossover point was between full wets and intermediates, despite not having any data about wet running in Monaco with the latest generation of cars. As a result, as is often the case here, the teams had to think on their feet about strategy decisions. We saw lots of different tactics, with Lewis Hamilton staying out on wet tyres and going straight to purple slicks: a key element to his inspired victory. A brilliant mix of strategies saw a number of drivers to advance beyond their grid positions, on a circuit where overtaking is notoriously difficult.”

Fastest times of the day by compound:

  Soft Supersoft Ultrasoft Wet Intermediate
First VET
1m18.005s
RIC
1m18.294s
HAM
1m17.939s
HAM
1m30.844
MAS
1m29.462s
Second PER
1m18.446s
SAI
1m18.519s
ROS
1m18.763s
WEH
1m33.794s
GUT
1m29.713s
Third HUL
1m19.232s
ALO
1m19.170s
GUT
1m19.131s
RIC
1m34.360s
MAG
1m29.802s

Longest stint of the race:

Soft Perez 48 laps
Supersoft Button 47
Ultrasoft Rosberg 47
Ultrasoft Hamilton 47
Intermediate Nasr 24
Wet Wehrlein 31
Wet Hamilton 31

Truthometer: We predicted a two-stop strategy as being the fastest option, with a one-stop option being the most likely possibility using ultrasoft and supersoft tyres. The rain blew that strategy wide open and Hamilton went from full wets to ultrasoft at the end of lap 31: the only driver apart from Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein to adopt this strategy.