2014 FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX
Race Strategy Report

The race history chart and accompanying text recap of the key moments of the race, are together designed to offer a unique review and insight into the strategic who, what, why and how that decided the latest race result.

The graph illustrates the relative performances on each stint of the cars and the gaps between each driver on a lap by lap basis. Use the control to show/hide different drivers and click on the pins for more details of race incidents.

The ‘as it happened’ key talking points, provide a more in-depth accompanying commentary and analysis of the key decisions on the pit wall and in the cockpit decisions that again ultimately helped determine the final race outcome.

James Allen's key moments, as they happened

Starting Grid
The top 12 are on soft with the exception of Vettel on medium. Interestingly Pirelli told Sky’s Ted Kravitz ahead of race start that Vettel was starting on the medium tyre – trying to get this tyre out of the way at the start maybe gambling on a safety car in early part of the race or being held up by slower cars at the front and allowing him to push hard when he pits out of sequence for the soft tyres.

There is a reasonable performance delta between the two tyres so the teams will be watching Vettel’s time very closely to judge the race degradation of the medium versus soft tyres. As seen on Friday the drivers will need to try to not to take too much out of the tyres at the start of the stint or the degradation may become too much and push them into a 3 stop.

Lap 1
Hamilton takes Rosberg at the start up the inside and Massa has a great start up to P3 whilst his team mate Bottas has a poor start dropping down to P6.  

Vergne has a rear right tyre puncture and successfully gets back to the pits – complains about being hit by a Lotus.

Lap 6
Rosberg told by his team that they are going to the ‘alternate strategy’ to a 2-stopper meaning that they initially had their prime strategy as a 3-stopper.

Lap 8 
Sutil pits to switch from the medium to soft tyres.

Lap 10
Button and then Hulkenberg take Bottas.

Lap 11
Bottas pits for another set of soft tyres and gets a front wing change to help with the balance – like most teams the front wing change is done with a modified electric drill for speed.

Lap 12
Perez takes Massa but Massa has another go at him and heavily looks up his front left in T9 failing to retake the position.

Lap 14
Sutil and Bianchi hit each other (Bianchi handed a drive-through penalty for being deemed to have caused the incident).

Vettel radios to say that his DRS has failed and Ricciardo is pushing Vettel hard. Vettel asked to release Ricciardo which he does.

Lap 17
Vettel asked to box “as no more rear tyres”.

Lap 20
Hamilton pits which gives him an effective undercut against Rosberg which should allow him to regain track position. 

Lap 21
Rosberg pits but comes out 3 seconds behind Hamilton due to being undercut. Hamilton is on soft and Rosberg on medium so Mercedes have split tyre strategies.

Lap 23
Massa comes on the radio to say Bottas’ rear tyres are going. Both Force India are sitting behind the two Williams as Massa and Bottas fight it out. Bottas asks to pit immediately and does. Perez and Hulkenberg fight it out for the right to attack Massa.

Lap 28
Perez takes Massa followed by Hulkenberg too in T10 with Massa pitting immediately, coming out 7 seconds behind Bottas.

Lap 30
Rosberg told that the pace between the soft and medium tyre is closer than expected but Hamilton has now got 7 seconds over Rosberg.

Lap 34
Bottas takes Ricciardo for 7th with Massa closing quickly on Ricciardo, overtaking him on Lap 35.

Lap 38
Both Ferraris are struggling in this race. Massa has caught up on Bottas and pits to try the undercut which should be good enough to the get Massa ahead of Bottas when he pits.

Lap 41
Gutierrez and Maldonado hit each other as Maldonado comes out of the pits and Gutierrez’ car rolls under contact. Bottas, Hamilton and Rosberg all pit in expectation of the Safety Car being released.  

Lap 42
Safety car comes out, which will inevitably hurt the 3 stopping Williams.

Magnussen stops with a clutch failure with Hamilton on the slower med tyres compared to Rosberg’s soft tyres.

With such a long time under the safety car the drivers have to work very hard to keep temperature in the tyres, otherwise the pressures can drop very quickly, especially for tyres just out of blankets.

Lap 46
The safety car comes in, releasing the cars to race on Lap 47 – fuel save will not be an issue now.

Lap 50
Ricciardo takes Vettel up the inside in T1 and is quickly on the tail of Hulkenberg too.

Lap 52
Both Mercedes have already taken 14 seconds out of the rest of the field, i.e. over 0.5 seconds per lap quicker than the other cars.

Lap 57 
Hamilton wins, with Rosberg second (just 1 second behind) and Perez in third (24 seconds further back).

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Fuelled for success - F1's all-consuming strategy challenge

David Coulthard
on F1®

Mercedes is showing the way forward for F1.