2016 Spanish Grand Prix – Race

TWO-STOP STRATEGY HELPS MAX VERSTAPPEN TO BECOME THE YOUNGEST WINNER IN F1 HISTORY

SPLIT STRATEGIES WITHIN FERRARI AND RED BULL AS THEY FIGHT FOR VICTORY IN A HIGH-SPEED BATTLE TO THE FINISH

MOST DRIVERS OPT FOR TWO STOPS: BEST-PLACED THREE STOPPER IS VETTEL IN THIRD

Montemelò, May 15, 2016 – Strategy was at the forefront of the Spanish Grand Prix, with the final result remaining in doubt right to the very end as the race protagonists adopted different thinking in the timing and choice of tyre changes. In the end, Max Verstappen became the youngest grand prix winner in history on his Red Bull debut, finishing the race on a set of medium tyres that had completed 32 laps: one lap more than those on the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who finished second. Both Ferrari and Red Bull split their strategies: each team stopping twice with one car and three times with the other.

All three compounds – hard, medium and soft – were used throughout the 66-lap grand prix, with a race-long battle between Red Bull and Ferrari, while tyre management provided an essential key to success. Four drivers were still in contention for the win all the way to the final lap, although Daniel Ricciardo was affected by a slow puncture at the very end, probably caused by debris.

The Formula One teams now remain in Barcelona for the first in-season test of the year, which will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday. A number of teams will run young drivers, while the tyres used will be the usual 2016 compounds seen since the start of this year, chosen by each team for testing purposes.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “This was a complex strategic battle all the way to the very end, with the balance of power shifting between Red Bull and Ferrari as the tactics evolved from lap to lap. The result was a fascinating race that remained absolutely unpredictable all the way to the chequered flag, making it one of the stand-out events of the season. During the final 10 laps the drivers had to manage their tyres to be sure of maintaining performance to the finish, adding yet another intriguing dimension to the action. This is the sort of race we were hoping for with our current range of compounds and the latest tyre regulations, so the Spanish Grand Prix certainly delivered. We’ve seen Formula One history being made today with the youngest winner ever in the sport, and we feel very proud to play a part in that.”

Fastest times of the day by compound:

Hard Medium Soft
First PAL  1m29.779s VET 1m27.974s KVY  1m26.948s
Second MAG 1m30.348s RIC  1m28.209s VET  1m28.137s
Third RAI  1m28.538s MAG 1m28.716s

Longest stint of the race:

Hard  Palmer  32 laps
Medium  Gutierrez  35
Soft  Grosjean  19

Truthometer: We predicted a two-stop strategy as being the most likely option, starting on soft, then switching to soft on lap 20 and medium on lap 40. Verstappen adopted a two-stop soft-medium-medium strategy, stopping after laps 12 and 34.