Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Suzuka, 2015

Ferrari and Williams rue second pit stop calls for Vettel and Bottas

2015 Japanese Grand Prix lap charts

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Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas could have finished higher in the Japanese Grand Prix had they made their second pit stops earlier.

Both were jumped by drivers who pitted before them and used fast out-laps to undercut them for position.

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2015
Ferrari were “surprised” by Rosberg’s out-lap
Vettel had been told to pull out a two-second lead over Nico Rosberg during his middle stint and he had exactly that much in hand before his second pit stop. However after Rosberg pitted on lap 29 his rapid out-lap of 1’55.869 – over two seconds quicker than Vettel’s team mate had managed on the previous lap – set him up to claim second from Vettel.

“At the second round of pit-stops we were surprised by the out-lap that Nico pulled,” Vettel admitted. “I guess we thought the gap was big enough, so you can’t say we made a mistake.”

“But in the end it’s a bit of a shame when you cross the line; I think that if we could have stayed ahead it would have been difficult for Nico to pass, as around there it is not so easy to get close, and we saw that he struggled a long time with Bottas.”

Raikkonen’s out-lap (and the fastest pit stop of the race) helped him jump ahead of Bottas, who he’d been just six-tenths of a second behind before pitting.

Nonetheless Williams head of performance engineering Rob Smedley felt the team could have been more aggressive and pitted sooner, as it had done earlier in the race. “Our call on the first stop was the right one and kept us in front of Rosberg,” he said, “but our second stop was too late and so we lost the position to Raikkonen.”

2015 Japanese Grand Prix lap chart

The positions of each driver on every lap. Scroll to zoom, drag to pan, click name to highlight, right-click to reset:

2015 Japanese Grand Prix race chart

The gaps between each driver on every lap compared to the leader’s average lap time. Scroll to zoom, drag to pan, click name to highlight, right-click to reset:

2015 Japanese 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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7 comments on “Ferrari and Williams rue second pit stop calls for Vettel and Bottas”

  1. That pit to Kimi was a thing of beauty. I am sorry I am biased

  2. It was a pity that Ferrari pit crew worked beautifully with 2 x 2.2 sec pit stops with one for each driver and they couldn’t stay ahead of Rosberg.

  3. Weird thing is Ferrari did one of them and fell prey to the other one. Awkward :D

  4. Rosbergs out lap was over two seconds quicker to jump both Vet and Bot.
    yet the TV coverage only just managed to show Rosb coming out of the pit exit back onto the track,
    making it seriously hard to gather what was going on, mainly because we hadn’t seen them at all up until that point.
    then we didn’t see them again till the end,
    yes i enjoyed the middle of the race with several different cars fighting hard to get past,
    but a lot of those car were not even in the points and would never make it,
    shame on you FOA

  5. Interestingly Kimi was getting closer to Vettel slowly when ever he got open air.

    1. Where do you see this? I mean in Lap 31 there was 13,7 sec between them, and at the end it was 12,9 sec. This is not really significant, is it?

      However I agree Kimi had a good pace this weekend, finally ;)

    2. No he wasn’t lol

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