Shanghai 2008: Pitstop & Tyre Strategies

Shanghai 2008: Pitstop & Tyre Strategies

Most drivers started the Chinese Grand Prix on the harder compound supplied by Bridgestone, although both Ferraris and both Williams started with the softer tyre, as did Adrian Sutil in the Force India. Most drivers two-stopped, although Timo Glock, Giancarlo Fisichella, David Coulthard and Kazuki Nakajima only pitted once. Robert Kubica did not change his tyres at his first stop, keeping the hard tyres on for his second stint. Sebastien Bourdais was the heaviest driver in Q3 yesterday, getting as far as lap 24 in today’s race before stopping.

Shanghai 2008
Pitstop & Tyre Strategies

Prime: Soft Option: Hard
Driver/Team Stint 1
(Starting Tyre)
Stint 2
Stint 3
Stint 4


British FlagLewis Hamilton Hard Hard (16) Soft (37)
Finnish FlagHeikki Kovalainen Hard Hard (19) Soft (36)


Finnish FlagKimi Raikkonen Soft Hard (16) Soft (37)
Brazilian FlagFelipe Massa Soft Soft (15) Hard (36)


German FlagNick Heidfeld Hard Hard (18) Soft (38)
Polish FlagRobert Kubica Hard No Change (31) Soft (39)


Spanish FlagFernando Alonso Hard Hard (15) Soft (35)
Brazilian FlagNelson Piquet Jr. Hard Hard (25) Soft (37)


Italian FlagJarno Trulli Hard
German FlagTimo Glock Hard Soft (33)

Scuderia Toro Rosso

German FlagSebastian Vettel Hard Hard (19) Soft (40)
French FlagSebastien Bourdais Hard Soft (24) Soft (38)

Red Bull Racing

British FlagDavid Coulthard Soft Hard (31)
Australian FlagMark Webber Hard Soft (13) Soft (32)


German FlagNico Rosberg Soft Soft (16) Hard (38)
Japanese FlagKazuki Nakajima Soft Hard (32)


Brazilian FlagRubens Barrichello Hard Hard (20) Soft (39)
British FlagJenson Button Hard Hard (24) Soft (45)

Force India

Italian FlagGiancarlo Fisichella Hard Soft (31)
German FlagAdrian Sutil Soft

Please note, this data is from my own observation and may not be 100% accurate.


  • Oliver, I admire your dedication!. Maybe adding track and air temps and any + or – that occurs, and maybe + and – on lap times with ( Iam pushing my luck here, estimated/calculated fuel weight for each stop =-)

  • That looks like a lot of work. I am surprised how many teams ran two sets of softs. I was expecting everyone to run two lots of hards. I am also curious about Kubica not changing tyres at his first stop. I haven’t seen anyone do that in a long time.

  • @Gusto: You don’t ask for much, do you! πŸ˜€ The thing with the fuel weight is that this post goes up after the race, so therefore it is relatively safe to assume the drivers were running their tanks down before each stop. The only time when they wouldn’t is if a driver changed his strategy at the first stop.

    I’ll see about the track temperatures for the 2009 season.

    @Steven: It wasn’t all that hard to collate actually. My notepad has lots of lines similar to this:

    31 – NAK – HARD || FIS – SOFT
    32 – ROS – SOFT
    34 – COU – HARD || SUT – HARD

    The only hard thing is tracking the teams that don’t get air-time. Knowing they’ve stopped is easy thanks to the Live Timing, but knowing what tyre they put on is harder to see.

    @Craig: He did. Coulthard started on soft and changed to hard at his only pitstop. Although, there was an error on this page earlier relating to Coulthard, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt! πŸ˜‰

  • @Ollie: wasn’t trying to be picky, must be incredibly hard to keep track of all this plus do everything else I know you do during the race!

  • @Craig: Thanks man. I wasn’t offended, so please don’t read anything into my tone. I was actually responding to Gusto when my emails said I had another couple of comments on the post. I had to faf around copying text and refreshing blah blah blah. So I was a bit short with the comment.

    Is it correct though, DC stopping on lap 31? I did have a second stop up earlier, but that’s because I forgot to delete a dummy bit of code. Should be easier next race, and then I’ll forget about this until about this time next season and reintroduce it! πŸ˜€

    plus do everything else I know you do during the race

    You know about me sipping Martini’s on a luxury yacht in the Med while trained monkeys hack away at my keyboard writing this stuff!? πŸ™‚

  • @Ollie: I’m not sure what lap it was to be honest as my live timing was playing up a bit – the number in the pitstops column kept changing all the time!

    Looking at the Lap Chart now though, it would look more like lap 28 or 29 to me.

  • Oh, Sidepodcast mentioned during the recording of F1 Debrief Episode 81 that the order of this table seems a bit strange. The reason why Honda are at the bottom is because I completely forgot about them due to the team receiving so little air-time – I didn’t get to mark down their stats. And by the time I remembered, I just tagged them onto the end. I’ll get it right next time, but for now, this is in Ollie-Order.

  • And interestingly, there were a lot of varying strategies at Shanghai. Many teams split their strategies between the drivers, and Red Bull and Force India started each of their drivers on a different compound. There appeared to be no cut ‘n dry way to go with pitstops and tyres. I can see this addition to the weekend coverage at BlogF1 becoming quite interesting.

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