Tyre strategy played a key role in securing first and second place on the podium for Mercedes in the Austrian Grand Prix.
Winner Nico Rosberg, who started from third on the grid, overtook the two Williams cars ahead of him by stopping before them and maximising the benefit of new tyres – a manoeuvre known as the ‘undercut’. This strategy enabled Roseberg to gain the lead after the first round of pit stops.
With track temperatures in excess of 40 degrees centigrade, the team mates fought closely to the end, with Williams driver Valtteri Bottas clinching third place and making his debut on the podium.
Meanwhile, Rosberg’s team mate Lewis Hamilton used the same strategy even more effectively. Hamilton, who started in ninth position on the P Zero Red supersoft, went on to complete two stints on the P Zero Yellow soft, to finish just 1.9 seconds behind his team mate despite starting way back on the grid.
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli tyres, commented: “Tyre performance was very much in line with our expectations today, despite the warmer conditions. As a result of that, degradation was a little higher than we saw previously and it was a straightforward two-stop race, with a one-stopper becoming a little too ambitious for most teams.
“We saw an entertaining grand prix where tyre strategy was very important, and of course it’s always great to see a new face on the podium. Congratulations to Valtteri and Williams, as well as Mercedes, for a great performance all weekend.”