Strategy overview and fastest laps – Supersoft holds well in Shanghai

Pirelli brought the supersoft tyres in China for the first time which proved to be a good decision because drivers could drive more than half a race on them.

After few laps on intermediate tyres, drivers have switched on dry tyres, but regardless of their initial plans of some drivers and teams to finish the race on that set of tyres, that didn’t happen.

Sainz was only driver who took a gamble and decided to start on the supersoft tyres, and Palmer did the same at the end of the warm-up lap. These are the only drivers who finished the race with only one tyre change.

Although the race started in wet conditions, no driver raced more than four laps on them as the track became too dry in some areas.

On the supersoft Sainz and Palmer completed more than half the race and Palmer drove the longest stint on supersofts (30 laps). Ocon was the driver who managed most laps on soft compound (40 laps or 71.43% of the race), which shows that the drivers could finish the race on one set of mediums.

FASTEST LAPS

Hamilton and Vettel dominated the fastest laps and they were almost half a second ahead of the third quickest time of Valtterri Bottas and six tenths quicker than Kimi Raikkonen.

Hamilton was just 0.045 seconds quicker than Vettel and managed to achieve third career Grand Chelem and Massa in Williams was the fastest of the drivers who didn’t drive Mercedes or Ferrari, 1.133 seconds behind.

Although Hamilton was 0.045 seconds faster in the fastest lap, if we look at the average time of ten fastest laps by each driver Vettel was on average 0.080 seconds faster than second placed Hamilton.

Pos Nr Driver Team Time Gap Krug br.
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:35.378 44
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:35.423 0.045 40
3 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:35.849 0.471 41
4 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:36.003 0.625 42
5 19 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 1:36.511 1.133 50
6 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:36.531 1.153 55
7 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull TAG Heuer 1:36.722 1.344 31
8 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull TAG Heuer 1:36.791 1.413 36
9 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:37.036 1.658 55
10 55 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso Renault 1:37.398 2.020 30
11 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:37.528 2.150 35
12 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:37.551 2.173 50
13 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:38.015 2.637 36
14 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:38.181 2.803 47
15 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1:39.496 4.118 31
16 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:39.732 4.354 50
17 26 Danil Kvyat Toro Rosso Renault 1:40.090 4.712 18
18 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 1:41.460 6.082 15
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