Korean GP Tyre Wear Analysis

tooncheese

Hans Heyer
Contributor
Hi everyone, here is the Tyre Analysis for Korea. Through judging fuel level and reference fast laps a benchmark time is made, the seconds away from it is shown on the x axis. As tyres wear the benchmark becomes harder to achieve. And we can see the tyre wear on the graph. A big thank you goes out the Sushifiesta and Jez101 who created the excellent spreadsheet (the link to it is at the bottom).

For this race Vettel, Hamilton and Button chose to go Used Option, Used Option, New Prime, whereas the more tyre aggressive drivers/cars (Webber, Ferrari, and Mercedes) had to do the second stint on New Prime tyres.
Sing Drivers SS.png


The Super-Soft tyre shows very nice line for Vettel (Although missing some laps), Hamilton and Webber. Vettel looks as if he could have continued on the Super-Soft’s for a little longer, but RBR decided to pit him, as the new rubber on Webber and Hamilton’s car’s started to make the 25 second pit-stop time look slightly fragile. Button stayed on the Super-Soft’s for longer than any of front runners, they are definitely waning by the end of the long stint, but it exceeded the 10 lap prediction by many of the teams during the week. Hamilton also managed to stay out for quite a while, but he loses his tyres about three laps earlier, although of a similar wear rate. (Hamilton Lap 16-19 and Button 19-22 are almost parallel.) Schumacher, Rosberg and Webber seemed very unhappy with the Super-Soft and pitted very early, although the graph doesn’t show the wear beginning to take hold as they pitted before the spreadsheet was able to take another reading. There are no laps for Alonso as his Super-Soft time was spent reading the writing on Massa’s gearbox. All in all the Super-Soft has done exactly the opposite of what was feared of it on Thursday morning.

Sing Drivers SS.png


The Soft tyre shows a brilliant line for Button, Hamilton and Vettel. All of them were setting laps that were very close together when adjusted. All of these drivers put on a new set of Primes for the last stint, and it is remarkable how they all had similar fates – the tyres fading in a very linear fashion, not the curve that we are used too. Rosberg however had to survive 28 laps on one of his sets to make up for the calamities on the Option. (Last lap unusable due to his fuel issue) despite the long time, the tyre is only beginning to show signs of wear. Not bad as Mercedes have a habit of chewing up their tyres. Alonso had an odd time on the Prime, whilst one of his stints was behind Massa; the other was spent tearing up the tarmac in pursuit of Button and Webber. Ignoring the loss of time around lap 10, the tyres still seem usable after 19 laps. Schumacher got whacked out of the race before he was able to set any meaningful laps on the Soft.

Sing Drivers SS.png


The Teams show an interesting story. Firstly Mercedes Super-Soft problems don’t show on either driver, so maybe had they been a bit braver and stayed out longer, Schumacher wouldn’t have been caught up with Petrov, and Rosberg could have had more of a gap back to Algersuari. I think that they could have managed. Whilst RBR and McLaren have a comfortable time on the Super-Soft, easily coaxing it around for as long as they needed it, Ferrari’s Super-Soft’s fell off the cliff very early on and very fast. The opposite of their tyre friendly car from Suzuka, now it’s swung too far the other way. The soft shows a good wear pattern for the big three teams, Ferrari doing better just too add more confusion to their see-sawing fortunes on Pirelli’s rubber boots. Mercedes Soft line is courtesy of just Rosberg this week whilst Schumacher had a quiet chat with Petrov. They seem to keep the tyre in the same way as the other teams, albeit just at a slower pace.

Sing Drivers SS.png


Lastly, this graph shows how the Option was the better tyre for 17 laps, cementing the two stop as the best option, with only 21 laps needed on the Prime for an optimum strategy. A good selection from Pirelli that at first looked to be offering a 3 or 4 stop race, but in fact was just right for everyone involved.

MORE DATA? If you wish.
https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0Bw...YmZjZC00NTdmLWIzZGItNjQwYTc0YWFlMTA3&hl=en_US
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Very interesting stuff as ever (brilliant in fact). The discrepancy between Ferrari and the others is striking - if I'm reading the graphs right, the super-soft tyres were slower even when new? I wonder if there was something going on with pressures or temperatures there.
 

jez101

Bookies drive nice cars because of people like me
Contributor
Very interesting stuff as ever (brilliant in fact). The discrepancy between Ferrari and the others is striking - if I'm reading the graphs right, the super-soft tyres were slower even when new? I wonder if there was something going on with pressures or temperatures there.

That does appear to be true for some drivers, although most graphs go up and to the right, indicating degredation. It could be a number of factors, including those you say, but I would also suggest that there was a self fulfilling expectation from Mercs in particular that the ss tyres wouldn't last. The drivers didn't push trying to save them, but changed off them before they could realise the benefits of saving them.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I suppose the first condition for a tyre change is whether the cars around yours have pitted, or are intending to stop this lap. Unless you think you can save a pitstop over them across the entire race distance, it's better to change no later than (and preferably earlier than) they do.

The actual condition of the tyres seems to be a secondary consideration.
 

jez101

Bookies drive nice cars because of people like me
Contributor
I suppose the first condition for a tyre change is whether the cars around yours have pitted, or are intending to stop this lap. Unless you think you can save a pitstop over them across the entire race distance, it's better to change no later than (and preferably earlier than) they do.

The actual condition of the tyres seems to be a secondary consideration.

Indeed... I would certainly like to see a few more teams trying to stretch to a stop less than the norm but it seems that the optimum strategy is to pit and make sure you don't lose out, hoping for the best that you will gain on the undercut. The risk of staying out is that you will find the cliff and just make a late stop, losing track position. Slower pitlanes would help add variety perhaps?

I am also coming to the conclusion that the yellow soft tyres are too good. Alonsos 20 qualifying laps on them was really impressive both from him and the tyre.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I am also coming to the conclusion that the yellow soft tyres are too good. Alonsos 20 qualifying laps on them was really impressive both from him and the tyre.

Have you found that still to be the case when the yellow is the option tyre? Obviously if they can only use four compounds across the whole range of circuits there are bound to be some where there's an imperfect fit.
 

jez101

Bookies drive nice cars because of people like me
Contributor
Have you found that still to be the case when the yellow is the option tyre? Obviously if they can only use four compounds across the whole range of circuits there are bound to be some where there's an imperfect fit.
For me the issue is most pronounced when yellow is option. It is fast and lasts too well compared to the medium. Korea actually looks good for the supersoft. It has been quicker by enough and hasn't gone off after 10 laps. Perhaps they should combine those two every race?

The other issue (and the real problem in Korea) is saftey cars. As long as drivers are able to make a free stop, safety cars or the risk of safety cars will punish long strategies.
 
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