DHL FASTEST PIT STOP AWARD: 2017 FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN CHINESE GRAND PRIX

Williams take DHL Fastest Pit Stop in Shanghai

Following the season opener in Australia, Williams again set the fastest pit stop time in China. To be more precise, fastest times, plural, as Felipe Massa was shod with new tires in just 2.52 seconds on Laps 2 and 48. His stop on Lap 24 was not quite as speedy at 3.24 seconds.

Ferrari were just behind Williams with turn-around times for Sebastian Vettel of 2.55 and 2.59 seconds. Behind them came Red Bull drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, with 2.60 and 2.66 seconds respectively. Overall, there were 36 pit stops in Shanghai due to a drying track, eleven of which were completed in less than three seconds.

With an average standing time of 2.57 seconds for Sebastian Vettel’s two stops, the Ferrari crew were the fastest of the afternoon at the Shanghai International Circuit, just ahead of Williams, who needed on average 2.76 seconds for Felipe Massa’s three tire changes.

 

Hamilton benefits from safety car coming out to secure first win of season

Lewis Hamilton completed his first stop, switching from inters to slicks on the fourth lap, when the safety car came out on track after Antonio Giovinazzi’s accident. This strategy was to win him his place on winners’ row. The Mercedes driver benefited from the fact that Sebastian Vettel had already stopped under the virtual safety car on Lap 2 and lost more time than those who came into the pits two laps later.

As a result, Vettel dropped from second place down into sixth and had to fight his way back up the field, while Hamilton in the lead had a clear run. Whilst Vettel moved up into second place during the race, he was unable to close on Hamilton. The Mercedes driver had a lead of six seconds at the finish line.

“Our strategy calls were all tidily executed in what was a complicated race early on with the wet-dry track,” said James Allison, Technical Director at Mercedes, with some satisfaction after Hamilton’s 54th race. “Lewis drove faultlessly today.” Hamilton’s strong race weekend was crowned by winning the Grand Slam made up of pole position, fastest race lap and a start-finish victory.

Fastest pit stops: 2017 FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN CHINESE GRAND PRIX

01 Felipe Massa (Williams) - 2.52s
02 Felipe Massa (Williams) - 2.52s
03 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) - 2.55s
04 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) - 2.59s
05 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) - 2.60s
06 Max Verstappen (Red Bull) - 2.66s
07 Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) - 2.79s
08 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) - 2.83s
09 Max Verstappen (Red Bull) - 2.91s
10 Esteban Ocon (Force India) - 2.97s

Williams extend lead in DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award

Williams also completed the fastest pit stop of the Chinese Grand Prix last year, in 2016. Back then, Felipe Massa’s car was serviced in 2.10 seconds, which was a tad faster than this season. But in 2015, victory in the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award went to Ferrari in Shanghai, as the Scuderia needed 2.30 seconds for Sebastian Vettel’s tire change.

With this success in Shanghai, Williams have extended their lead in the race for the DHL Pit Stop Award and now have 65 points. Red Bull on 33 points are their closest rivals while Ferrari are right behind them with 31 points.

Next race: 2017 FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX

The third race of the season will take place in Bahrain this weekend. Williams have fond memories of the Grand Prix in the desert, as the British team secured the fastest pit stop there last year when Felipe Massa was dispatched in 2.27 seconds. If Williams can repeat that feat, they will have achieved their hat-trick to mark the start of the season.