Mercedes take DHL Fastest Pit Stop in Barcelona
Following the example of Williams and Red Bull, Mercedes have also now secured a win on the day in the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award. The world championship-winning team turned around race winner Lewis Hamilton and sent him back on his way in 2.39 seconds during the European opener of Formula 1 at Barcelona and proved unbeatable at changing tires.
The Silver Arrows’ good form was further demonstrated with Hamilton’s third-quickest pit stop of the race. Their turn-around time for his team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, was the fourth quickest. Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo was the only one able to break the Silver Arrows hold on the DHL Fastest Pit Stop competition with a time spent stationary of 2.45 seconds.
A total of 37 pit stops were carried out in Barcelona, 13 of them in less than three seconds. While Daniil Kvyat and Felipe Massa stopped on the first lap after an action-packed start, Kevin Magnussen was the last driver to change tires in the race with three laps to go before the checkered flag.
Exciting battle between Hamilton and Vettel
An exciting battle between world champions Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton dominated proceedings at this first European round of the 2017 Formula 1 season. We saw a thrilling overtaking maneuver on the track between the two title favorites for the first time this season.
Both Vettel and Hamilton decided on a two-stop strategy but chose different approaches. Vettel stopped early for fresh soft tires on Lap 14. Hamilton came into the pits seven laps later and changed to mediums in just 2.39 seconds!
Hamilton stopped for a second time on Lap 36. Vettel pitted on the next lap. The Ferrari driver rejoined the track immediately in front of Hamilton and was able to fend off attacks from the British driver.
However, on Lap 44, Hamilton finally overtook Vettel at the end of the start/finish straight. It was the decisive maneuver of the race. Victory was assured for the Mercedes driver, since Hamilton’s soft tires held up over the final stint and Vettel was no longer able to counterattack on the mediums.
“I was able to manage my tires in the first stint and keep relatively close, then it was tricky to keep up on the medium tire and then after the second stop,” said Hamilton. “I have to congratulate my team today, with the strategy and the pit stops, as well as everyone back at the factory that has worked so hard to deliver these upgrades, enabling us to be so close in this fight with Ferrari.”
Fastest pit stops: FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA PIRELLI 2017
01 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 2.39s
02 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 2.45s
03 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 2.53s
04 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 2.57s
05 Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) 2.61s
06 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 2.63s
07 Lance Stroll (Williams) 2.66s
08 Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) 2.67s
09 Lance Stroll (Williams) 2.73s
10 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 2.78s
Williams lead DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award
Williams on 133 points have the lead in the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award, but the competition is hotting up. Mercedes and Red Bull are now both on 95 points, snapping at the heels of the title defenders. Toro Rosso (63 points) are in fourth place, followed by Force India (53) and Ferrari (48).
Next race: FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2017
Formula 1 heads next to Monaco for the sixth meeting of the season and the most prestigious race of the year. McLaren driver Jenson Button, who replaces Fernando Alonso at Monaco, completed the fastest pit stop of just 2.53 seconds in 2015. Last year, though, it was the Williams crew who were fastest in the Principality, changing tires for Valtteri Bottas in 2.43 seconds.