Tyres strategy was key to Spanish driver Fernando Alonso’s victory at his home Grand Prix today.
The Ferrari racer claimed his 32nd win using a four-stop sprint strategy, ahead of Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen who stopped three times. And his team mate Felipe Massa claimed his first podium of the year, despite starting from ninth on the grid following a penalty.
Alonso also set a new record by becoming the only driver to win the Spanish Grand Prix from a far down as fifth on the grid, demonstrating how tyres strategy can be used to gain track position. Raikkonen was the only driver to complete three opening stints on the P Zero White medium before one final stint on the P Zero Orange hard.
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli tyres, said: “Strategy was again at the forefront of the Spanish Grand Prix, which as usual was very demanding on the tyres because of the unique characteristics of this circuit.
“This is why we saw high levels of degradation, which should not be seen again to this extent for the rest of the year. Our aim is to have between two and three stops at every race, so it’s clear that four is too many: in fact, it’s only happened once before, in Turkey during our first year in the sport.
“We’ll be looking to make some changes, in time for Silverstone, to make sure that we maintain our target and solve any issues rapidly.
“Congratulations to Fernando Alonso and Ferrari who pushed hard from start to finish to make the four-stop strategy work for them and seal a very popular result here.
“They planned their strategy from the start of the weekend, using the tyres wisely during qualifying, and then made it count with some fantastic overtaking moves.”
Pirelli tyres had predicted a three-stopper, but Alonso stopped for the first time on lap nine for the hard tyres, hard tyres again on lap 21, medium tyres on lap 36, and finally a return to hard tyres on lap 49.
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team