Sergio Perez, Force India, Sochi Autodrom, 2015

Perez’s tyre saving brings a reward – but Alonso’s doesn’t

2015 Russian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

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While Sergio Perez’s 41-lap long run on soft tyres earned him a deserved podium finish, another driver managed an even more impressive feat of tyre-nursing in Russia.

Fernando Alonso did almost as many laps – 40 on a single set of super-soft tyres – and was still setting consistent lap times near the end of the race. However his McLaren lacked the pace to contend for the top places – and he lost the final point due to a post-race penalty.

Perez, however, scored Force India’s first podium of the season thanks to their gamble on bringing him in for his sole pit stop when Romain Grosjean’s crash brought out the Safety Car.

“The call to pit under the Safety Car turned out to be very good because it gave us track position ahead of all the battles,” he said.

“With one lap to go, when Valtteri [Bottas] and Kimi [Raikkonen] passed me, it felt like this result had been taken from us. I was obviously disappointed but I also knew I had given all I could during the race.”

“There was no more I could do because I had been on the same tyres for more than 40 laps. When I finally managed to get back into third it was just an amazing feeling.”

2015 Russian Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3
Lewis Hamilton Super soft (32) Soft (21)
Sebastian Vettel Super soft (30) Soft (23)
Sergio Perez Super soft (12) Soft (41)
Felipe Massa Soft (30) Super soft (23)
Daniil Kvyat Super soft (33) Soft (20)
Felipe Nasr Super soft (34) Soft (19)
Pastor Maldonado Soft (30) Super soft (23)
Kimi Raikkonen Super soft (31) Soft (22)
Jenson Button Super soft (12) Soft (41)
Max Verstappen Super soft (1) Soft (23) Super soft (29)
Fernando Alonso Soft (13) Super soft (40)
Valtteri Bottas Super soft (26) Soft (26)
Roberto Merhi Super soft (13) Soft (39)
Will Stevens Super soft (14) Soft (3) Super soft (34)
Daniel Ricciardo Super soft (12) Soft (35)
Carlos Sainz Jnr Super soft (12) Soft (33)
Romain Grosjean Super soft (1) Soft (10)
Nico Rosberg Super soft (7)
Nico Hulkenberg Super soft
Marcus Ericsson Soft

2015 Russian Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

Driver Team Pit stop time Gap On lap
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 29.367 30
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 29.386 0.019 31
3 Fernando Alonso McLaren 29.539 0.172 13
4 Jenson Button McLaren 29.719 0.352 12
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 29.732 0.365 12
6 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 29.952 0.585 30
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 30.216 0.849 32
8 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 30.241 0.874 24
9 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso 30.288 0.921 12
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams 30.316 0.949 26
11 Felipe Nasr Sauber 30.362 0.995 34
12 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 30.418 1.051 33
13 Will Stevens Manor 30.421 1.054 17
14 Sergio Perez Force India 30.545 1.178 12
15 Felipe Massa Williams 30.741 1.374 30
16 Will Stevens Manor 32.400 3.033 14
17 Roberto Merhi Manor 35.072 5.705 13
18 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 37.334 7.967 1
19 Romain Grosjean Lotus 54.445 25.078 1

2015 Russian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “Perez’s tyre saving brings a reward – but Alonso’s doesn’t”

  1. Where did the Smirnoff logo go?

    1. Maybe because Russia doesn’t like that vodka brand ;)

    2. No alcohol ads allowed on the cars in Russia @m47e57, so Mclaren also doesn’t have the new chandon sponser on either.

      1. maarten.f1 (@maarten-f1) (@)
        11th October 2015, 20:21

        @bosyber @m47e57 Don’t think Russia needs alcohol ads..

      2. @bosyber Chandon deal doesn’t start till 2016, McLaren didn’t run their johnnie walker logos here in Russia.

        1. Ah true @viscountviktor, still effect the same, but with the ‘challenge’ to not drink and drive still on there – guess that works even though many could associate it with Johnnie Walker :)

          @maarten-f1 quite, so I can definitely understand why it’s not allowed there, alcohol is a very big problem still in Russia.

      3. But what about the kingfisher logo? Beer is ok? Not strong enough for Russians..

        1. I think FI still pretends it either the defunct airlines doing the sponsoring or the Cricket club @m47e57

    3. Alcohol advertising is illegal in Russia. Easy to snigger, but if you think about it if any country needs such a ban it’s theirs.

    4. also no martini logo on williams

  2. Alonso: Button is better than you.

    1. @jorge-lardone
      Check the WDC standings mate, and that’s despite Alonso’s car failures while running in the points in Spain, Monaco and Singapore.

      1. Guys .. Really ? Non argument in my book … 11points v 8 points … 6v5 dnf’s …. Hundreds of various grid penalties …Alonso getting upgrades before Button… They are both pretty evenly matched this season but I do think that despite the rubbish they are driving it does seem yet again as though Button is equal to whoever is his team mate. Too often people write him off but each time he seems to hold his own.

        1. I think Kingshark is just reacting to Jorge’s consistent severe dislike of Alonso.

          I’m also not shocked that Jenson is holding his own against Alonso; I just wish they both were in a more competitive car. If either of them were in Rosberg’s car, then Hamilton would certainly have more of a challenge on his hands.

          1. I disagree. If Button was on the other Merc Hamilton would have had an easier time. I claim this because Hamilton really had the measure of him in qualifying. More than he has Rosberg’s and when you are in a frond leading car were your biggest enemy is your team mate then qualifying becomes even more important.
            Button was slightly flattered in the years between them because Mclaren wasn’t as fast or reliable and he could take advantage of the problems that come with trying to push the car, strategy, dangers for fighting with others and reliability.

    2. Can you please substantiate a little more this statement? It makes you look like just a fan boy if you do not provide any more data or arguments. Thanks in advance.

  3. Very impressive to see Alonso do 40 laps on Super Soft, I thought Perez doing 41 on Soft was good, I was wrong

    1. @bezza695 I seriously doubt a car as slow as that McLaren Honda is particularly hard on the tyres.

      1. +1 It would be easier for Alonso than it was for Perez.

        1. In commentary on Sky Martin Brundle actually said that it looked like McLaren was “munching” it’s rear tyres … Button said earlier in season that due to lack of power it’s actually harder to preserve tyre life as you’re driving the nuts off the car to stand still … So it was a good effort from Alonso

      2. How? It’s not slower in the corners. It’s slower on the straights.

        1. That car is slower everywhere.

        2. I would guess it is slower on the straights. That’s what Alonso was complaining about in Japan.

  4. That 1s gap in stop time between bottas and vettel has to make for sad reading for smedley. If the left rear wheel gun guy was as quick as the right rear, bottas may have finished second. 3.4s stop time is not good enough if you are fighting for a podium against Ferrari.

  5. Seeing this result and thinking back over Perez’s previous good results it seems so obvious now how McLaren got it wrong with him. It was like they wanted a feisty, aggressive youngster to replace Hamilton. Telling him to stick his elbows out and seeing the way he attempted to drive while at McLaren, it was plainly not his style.

    They should have focussed on a car kind to tyres which also would have suited Button. Results like the podiums for Sauber and Force India should easily have been wins with McLarens resources. Perez isn’t a great wheel to wheel racer, but he does have a knack for stretching tyre life out and making risky strategies work.

    1. Michael Brown
      12th October 2015, 4:20

      I would have thought that having two similar drivers in Button and Perez would mean that McLaren wouldn’t have to compromise between the drivers as they did with Button and Hamilton. But I guess they messed that up.

      1. They built a car without good outright pace, brought a driver in who had been delivering results in a midfield car by preserving tyres and using a tortoise and the hare approach and then said right go over drive the car to make up for it’s deficiencies.

        It’d be like bringing Peter Prodromou in and saying right we’ve got an engine down on power, we want you to work on the gearbox rather than aero!

  6. Alonso should write a book titled: Running with the Manors!

    1. it would be useless

      they are well past manors now and well into sauber/toro rosso territory

      I mean, seriously, when will this comparison get old?

      1. “Running with the Minions” would be more appropriate then!

      2. Hmmm, don’t know…..! Alonso did a very good start again and at the end of lap 1 he was 13th if I remember well, but after a while behind him there’re only 2 cars left… the Manors!

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