The strategy in Formula 1 is quite interdependent on tires. To fully understand the team strategy, we must first understand the importance of tires in today's Formula 1 .

In fact, it is necessary to start on the other side of the F1, that is, on the side of the vortex for the formula that it leaves behind when it drives fast. This air makes it impossible for the rear-mounted racers to get closer. For years, racers have been struggling to cope with steering wheel shaking, loss of pressure, and all too often leading to tire overheating or at least significantly reducing their service life; that no one wants. This is how the illogical thing happens: driving in an uproar becomes agonizing, and a racer who wants to overtake must have significantly more speed than the racer in front of him. Thus, for many years, it was not true of all lanes that it was accurate to be a racing driver who wanted to overtake, at least three enacts five seconds per lap, if he wanted to get past the race car in front of him.

Video: How to Prepare a Strategy for an F1 Race?

In the video above, one of the Haas strategists, Mike Caulfield, explained the process of preparing a strategy for a Formula One race.

Implementation of DRS

Formulation 1 was losing in viewership and something had to happen. The FIA ​​then decided to introduce a little extra help in racing for those who want to overtake, and so we got overtaking in the DRS , which many call artificial overtaking. What is DRS ?

DRS is a system that allows the racer who wants to overtake the rear wings:


As can be seen from the photo, the upper wing of the DRS is closed and the lower wing is open. The resistance decreases when the wing is open and the speed of the racer is therefore drastically increased on the plane. The use of the DRS wing during the race is complex and will be dealt with separately. What we need to know for now is that racers often overtake themselves using this wing. Very rarely do we see overtaking nowadays, ie without the use of additional wings or from the propulsion ERS system drawn from the battery by the racer.

It is now becoming increasingly clear that Formula 1 is very difficult to overtake, so teams are constantly looking for where to get as much space as possible or where it can help the racer the most. Over the years, it became clear that a lot of time could be saved in Formula 1 with a strategy during the race. With smart handling, optimized stops and proper tire wear, the racer can gain in the race between 10 and 18 Seconds – Viewed the whole race. Because this means all year in Formula 1, teams have quickly recognized the potential and opened the door to science.

Creating a Strategy

Teams start working on strategy on Friday for the first free training. At that time, the track is generally dirty and does not provide enough grip. That's why teams only make basic adjustments, usually with a lot of fuel. In another free training session, this one also takes place on Friday, they try some more empty fuel tanks and aggressive approaches. Each team has their own approach, so comparisons are made on Friday times, usually a shot in the knee. All data is then sent to a parent factory with sufficient computing power to check everything that has happened during the training. The work in the factory is split: one part of the people is working in the simulators with the settings of the race car and trying to make the race faster by simulating better solutions on the race car, and the other part of the team in charge of improving the speed during the weekend, trying to enter the data into the computer and calculate how many stops meant the fastest enact goal path.

If we only touch on this other part of the strategy, we will say this: the team gets Pirelli's prediction of how long a particular tire mix should hold. This, of course, is dependent on the asphalt and the temperature surrounding it. There are also curbs and dirt on the track. The engineers then compare the information obtained by the team in their free training with what Pirelli sent. They also check the driving style of each racer. In fact, some runners are more active and others more passive. Some may therefore have problems with wear and the other with tire temperature; in both cases, the tire life is shorter.

The teams then enter the information obtained into a computer system designed exclusively for the individual team, which then shows what would be best for the individual driver. The following questions are asked for people who do not know the sport well enough

  1. Is there one becoming the best solution in any race? Answer : no way! It depends on the racetrack, what the average speed is and how long the driver spends to go to the pits.
    • Does Pirelli always get hit with its tire change announcement? Answer: Of course not! Pirelli tests tires in a closed environment without additional factors. Of course, it's not the same when it's outside degrees or 22 degrees Celsius. Of course, it is not the same if the asphalt structure is rough or smooth. In the same way, racehorses hold the temperature in tires very differently through suspension and aerodynamics. And of course, it is not the same if you can overtake the track (case of GP Austria) or be convicted of driving (case of GP Monaco).
    • Can one tire withstand a whole race? Answer: yes, but not necessarily, and the rule is that they should be replaced at least once in the boxes.

A race commentator on TV3, of course, never forgets to tell the difference in speed between one tire and another, just like that he reads to us, or at least tells us when anyone should go to boxing. The case is based on Pirelli's plamfet and is about as accurate as the announcement of a local doorman.

By 24 The hourly work at the parent factory will return to the third free training on Saturday, equipped with updates. This training already has instructions on which tire sets to use during the race. They prepare the racers for the qualifications and know exactly by qualifications:

  • which racer came in which part of the qualifications and which position he occupied,
  • which racer will be able to use which tires,
  • What kind of competition does a racer have at their start and what is their range in the race.

The teams return all of the information received to the parent factory, where they re-transmit all the data overnight, they calculate which place is reachable from which of their racers and finally determine their blueprint of boxing stops as well as tactics for when to box. Why is all this important? Precisely because it is not easy to overtake. Sometimes, 3 seconds, gained by a better stop, is the difference between winning and losing.

Examples of strategies

During the race, exact each runner would drive faster each lap than the previous one. Why? One part of the answer is that it is easier to cycle from round to round because it consumes fuel, and the other part is to get the grip on the grip during the race. We assume, of course, that the weather is ideal and the temperature constant. But here's the trick. Tire service life is limited and teams must call the racer to the box immediately before the tire loses its grip or expires.

I made an example of two racers below: racer 1 kept the team on the track for one lap too long. Racer 2 was called to boxing on time and his race took 5.7 seconds less time! Race 2 won because of perfect tactics, Race 1 lost due to team misconduct

Let's see:


What happened? The difference is in round 9, where the No. 1 racer left the track outside. His tires fell into the zone of excessive wear and tear and lost speed. Racer 2 was called to the boxes on time, giving him the perfect timing in terms of tactics.

This is one part of what engineers have to do during a race weekend. Prepare and determine how long any tire mix will endure in the race and when their wear will be too high, and relate the determined number of stops to the pits. Because information about tires and their durability is often not public, viewers often simply do not know at the start of the race how many times the boxing will go and which mix of tires will slip the race car. That is why Pirelli, for the sake of ease, draws up the plumet that the presenter on TV3 so fondly takes as a saint.

The second part of the strategy during the race is the active part of the tactic. Imagine that the racer starts badly and in the moment instead of in the first place – he finds himself in third. The first thing that has changed drastically is the wear on the tire, because of the turbulence that a racer experiences when driving behind a race car in front of him, the tire's life is drastically altered. Another thing that has changed is that racer times will be slower than they predicted. And the third thing that changed; the racer will consume less fuel due to driving in the wind. That's when two new options come up that the team can use.

“Undercut” and “overcut”

Undercut ” is used when the racer rolls a box or two before it was planned. Let's take the case that a race has one stop and lasts 50 circles. It was agreed that the racer would come to the boxes 20. circle because this is the perfect circle because 19. a fallen tire circle into the over-wear zone.

At undercut, the team will call the racer for a change already 15 circle. Two things will happen: the racer will have 2 laps (19. and 18. circle) clean fresh tires, throwing away when his competitors drive worse tires on old tires. The difference can sometimes be three or four seconds per lap in favor of a racer who went on “ The idea of ​​undercutting is to make a stop a few laps in front of the racer we want to overtake. earlier stops, he gets the advantage of new tires and can drive faster times than his rival, who still rides with worn tires. If the rhythm difference is large enough, his rival will return after him and the undercutt succeeds. or three fast laps on fresh tires. There is always a danger here that the first-time racer will return to the slower-paced races and cannot take advantage of an earlier stop. ” href = “https://portal-f1.si/glossary/undercut/”> undercut ”tactics. The downside of this maneuver, however, is that exact on the second set of tires will drive 2 laps more than the competition, and this can be avenged at the end of the race. The thing is, how well a team judges, calculates or determines if “ The idea of ​​undercutting is to make a stop a few laps in front of the racer we want to overtake. new tires, and he can drive faster times than his competitor, who still rides with worn tires. If the rhythm difference is big enough, his rival will come back after him and undercutt succeeds. In principle, it's a series of two or three fast laps. But there is always a risk that the racer who is the first to get boxed back into the traffic of slower racers and cannot take advantage of an earlier stop. ” href = “https://portal-f1.si/glossary/undercut/”> undercut ”can be derived and, if so, when it can be performed.

The opposite happens at “
overcut ”Tactics. In this same race, the racer will instead 18 box went into boxing only 20 circle. This happens when the team determines during a race that tire wear is not as great as they thought it would be. The tires hold up perfectly and are only being replaced 22 circle. The good side of this maneuver is that at the end of the race, the racer at “
The idea of ​​an undercut is to make a few laps before the racer we want to overtake. A racer with an earlier stop gets the advantage of new tires and can, in principle, drive faster times than his competitor, who still rides with worn tires. If the rhythm difference is large enough, his rival will return for him after the stop and the undercutt will succeed. In principle, it is a series of two or three quick laps on fresh tires. However, there is always a danger that the runner who is the first to get boxed back into the traffic of slower racers and cannot take advantage of an earlier stop. “> Undercut
– u.
Means the remainder of the track when a direct competitor for a position enters a stop with a try: a) reducing the number of stops, b) the possibility of a faster rhythm on an empty lane, which is usually not the most effective except for races with extremely low tire wear (Monaco), c) tactical advantages in changing weather conditions. “href =” https://portal-f1.si/thesaurus/overcut/ “> overcut ” tactics had fresher tires than the competition. The downside to this tactical maneuver however, in the meantime, when the competition has already replaced the tires, the racer may lose a lot of places and will not be able to get the lost spots back at the end of the race.

The thing is, both in math and because of the pressure that prevails during the race, the better teams have put another team in the parent factory, which peacefully checks all the data of the team physically present in the race and, if possible, corrects it if only time permits. The task of the other team, which is hidden to the public, is even when a security car gets on the track or an accident occurs. Even then, the teams have all the strategy planned to break down and sometimes they need to respond very quickly, in seconds.

One of the few insights on this hidden team is years 2010 revealed by McLaren while visiting David Coulthard (video above). It should be emphasized that today the strategy section is about 3 times larger than it was in the past year 2010.

Strategy decision makers

How much influence does the racer have on decisions alone? This is a very difficult answer. Namely, the racer is very limited in his vision and observation, so when the race is dry, his team or his engineer decides instead. However, when it rains, the team mostly listens to the wishes of the racer, as he or she knows best the situation on the track.

Each racer has their own racing engineer. The latter is in charge of constant communication on both sides. Against the runner and against the team. The race engineer also transmits all the desired information from his racer to his superior engineer, who usually communicates with both teams: the one present in the race and the one sitting behind the factory and calculating the situation analytically. It is ultimately up to the Chief Engineer, the one who will ultimately take responsibility.

It is interesting to note that he made one of the most famous (bad) decisions of this kind in the past, years 2010, otherwise one of the best engineers in Formula 1, Chris Dyer. At the last race of the season, Pink Bull crucified tire change tactics: Vettla sent on x tactics, Webbra sent on y tactics. Dyer heard from both Ferrari teams what to do and 10 seconds decided that the team would answer with Alonso on tactics y. Later, this proved to be a mistake as Alonso could not get past Petrov and was left without a title. Although the team in that race probably would not have succeeded in the tactics of x, Dyer ended his career as a racing engineer and left Formula 1. He returned in the year 2016 in Renault, where it is not directly related to Formula 1. So if you think it is your work stressful you may have just realized that this is not the case;).

Photo: Kerim Guide

Let's finally look racing engineers accompanying racers in season 2019:

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Peter Bonnington (Mercedes)
  2. Valtteri Bottas – Riccardo Musconi (Mercedes)
  3. Sebastian Vettel – Riccardo Adami (Ferrari)
  4. Charles Leclerc – Xabi Prado (Ferrari)
  5. Max Verstappen – Gianpiero Lambiase (Pink Bull)
  6. Alexander Albon – Mattia Spini (Pink Bull)
  7. Kimi Räikkönen – Julien Simon-Chautemps (Alfa Romeo)
  8. Antonio Giovinazzi – Jörn Becker (Alfa Romeo)
  9. Daniil Kvyat – Pierre Hamelin (Toro Rosso)
  10. Pierre Gasly – Simon Rennie (Toro Rosso)
  11. Lance Stroll – Brad Joyce (Racing Point) drs
  12. Sergio Perez – Tim Wright (Racing Point)
  13. Daniel Ricciardo – Karel Bogs (Renault)
  14. Robert Kubica – Andrew Murdoch (Williams)
  15. George Russell – James Urwin (Williams)
  16. Romain Grosjean – Dominic Haines (Haas)
  17. Kevin Magnussen – Gary Gannon (Haas)
  18. Nico Hülkenberg – Model Slade (Renault)
  19. Carlos Sainz jr. – Tom Stallard (McLaren)
  20. Lando Norris – Will Joseph (McLaren)

No wonder there are special bonds between racing and racing engineers. And so Andrea Stella went with Alons to McLaren and built a remarkable career there. A special couple were Felipe Massa and Steal Smedley , who have bonded for a lifetime during F1. Andrew Shovlin, proclaimed Michael Schumacher the best of all time, enjoys cult living at Mercedes .

But it's not always pretty. Sometimes radio conversations are very … honest, as we have heard in
conversation between Günter Steiner and Romain Grosjean , in 84747 conversation between Simon Rennie and Kimi Räikkönen and between Paddy Low and Lewis Hamilton .

Kerim Guide

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