- Ferrari complete the DHL Fastest Pit Stop of the Italian GP
- Kimi Räikkönen is sent on his way in 2.20 seconds
- Red Bull Racing lead the 2018 DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award
Ferrari execute the DHL Fastest pit stop at Monza
Ferrari looked to be on course for victory in the home race for the Scuderia at Monza when Kimi Räikkönen booed pole position alongside team-mate Sebastian Vettel in P2. A red front row lock‑out augured well. Ultimately, though, the race panned out differently.
Vettel had to settle for fourth after a collision on the first lap with Lewis Hamilton, and Räikkönen lost the battle for victory with the Mercedes man both on the track and in the box. The crucial factor in this turnaround was perfect strategy on the part of Mercedes, which the Silver Arrows exploited to the full, having two irons in the fire with Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas while Räikkönen was having to fend for himself.
On Lap 20, both the Ferrari and the Mercedes pit crew were ready for the tire change. When race leader Räikkönen turned into the pit lane, however, Hamilton stayed out on the track and took over at the front for the first time that afternoon. Ferrari may have pulled off the DHL Fastest Pit Stop of the day in a time of 2.20 seconds, but the early stop would then be their undoing.
Räikkönen emerged behind Bottas who then frustrated the advance of his fellow Finn for several laps, preventing him from exploiting his fresh tires to the full. By contrast, Hamilton left his stop to the 28th lap and then steadily worked at closing the gap on Räikkönen.
When Bottas finally pitted on the 36th lap, Räikkönen’s tires were already well worn from tailgating for so long. Hamilton ruthlessly seized his opportunity, catching and overtaking the leader on the 45th lap. Räikkönen was unable to fend off the challenge and ultimately came home a full nine seconds adrift of Hamilton.
“We got the strategy just right,” explained Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff. “With Kimi and Lewis at the first stop, we were ready to do the opposite of Ferrari – then extended the stint to have the biggest offset of tire life when Kimi pitted. Overall, it was a very good day for the team at every level.”
Chief Race Engineer Andrew Shovlin added: “The race with Lewis and Kimi was interesting and one that we had covered in the morning strategy meeting. They couldn’t leave the pit window open, but it meant we were able to create an offset on tires that in the end won us the race.”
Räikkönen claimed the 100th podium of his Formula 1 career. However, the pole-sitter from Finland was naturally disappointed with the outcome of the race: “The first set of tires was ok, while the second one didn’t last as long as we had expected. There wasn’t much we could do; we had to push all the time and there was no single moment in which we could take it easy and look after the tires. For sure we wanted a better result, but this is what we’ve got; we did our best but it was not enough.”
Top 10 pit stops in the 2018 FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO D’ITALIA
Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) - 2.20s
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - 2.31s
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) - 2.36s
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull) - 2.56s
- Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) - 2.58s
- Charles Leclerc (Sauber) - 2.58s
- Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) - 2.90s
- Nico Hülkenberg (Renault) - 2.99s
- Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) - 3.18s
- Romain Grosjean (Haas) - 3.24s
Fastest Pit Stop Award: Red Bull retain their lead
In the 2018 DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award, Red Bull Racing remain clearly in the lead on 345 points, but Ferrari have narrowed the gap and become the main challengers on 237 points. They are followed by Mercedes (204), Sauber (184) and Williams (173).