July 2012: British Grand Prix – A Game of Tyre Strategies and Adaptation
Mark Webber emerged triumphant taking Red Bull to the top, while Fernando Alonso of Ferrari followed suit .
Even while rains chose to stay away, Mclaren boys were in a state at the British Grand Prix yesterday. Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button had to bear the brunt of changing tyre strategies called into play.
The Role of Varying Tyre Strategies
The major reason why most participants were caught unawares was the negligible dry running beforehand, leading to very little awareness about the Silverstone tyre behavior among teams.
The final practice on Saturday gave a very brief chance to explore the tyre hardness and softness, leading to the results that ensued.
The Wins and Losses
Lewis Hamilton started eighth and finished at the same spot, while Jenson Button hauled up to the 10th place, while having started 16 th.
Beyond doubt, it was Mark Webber’s day; he intensely competed with Ferrari’s Alonso in the last few laps of the race adapting to and making the most of tyre strategies.
Mark Webber won the second title this season after this amazing performance.
The Experts Say
Pirelli’s Paul Hembery commented that due to wet spells over the weekend, there was lack of opportunity for the participating teams to optimize their cars for best performance. However, the day of the race saw the sun shine brightly ensuring a dry race throughout.
Gary Anderson from BBC called it a day of immensely unstable conditions making it unfair to draw conclusions. But the best performers this season, mechanically and aerodynamically, modified their tactics to handle the extremely testing Pirelli tyres. Ferrari and Red Bull emerged purely on the basis of their well-maneuvered approaches.
The Strategies that Clashed
Mark Webber chose to run the hard tyres towards the end of the BGP. Whereas, the tactic adopted by his nearest competitor, Fernando Alonso was exactly the opposite. It appears that Ferrari’s Alonso’s decision to run on fragile tyres in the end cost him victory.
In reality, the hard tyre had proved to perform better at Silverstone, propelling Ferrari to adopt a seemingly sensible tyre strategy. As soon as Alonso’s tyre type of the first stint was revealed,
Mark Webber knew that he had to compete neck and neck with his opponent in the first stint so as to surpass him at the end of the race. His logic and reasoning resulted in a perfect tactic to ensure a great victory.
Also, a dearth of efficient front grip while on the soft tyres and his second stop made a little too soon, were among prominent factors that landed Ferrari at the second spot.
With his tremendous win, Mark Webber managed to gracefully bridge the gap in title rankings between Alonso and himself. With this series, both the racers have won two winning titles in this season so far.
The fans supported the event remarkably. Their matchless dedication mounted and in spite of enduring arduous circumstances, they were committed to the remarkable race till the end.