Jolyon Palmer, Renault, Sepang International Circuit, 2017

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix

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The Malaysian Grand Prix was another straightforward one-stopper for almost every driver in the field.

Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas, Sepang International Circuit, 2017
2017 Malaysian GP in pictures
So much so that Esteban Ocon did almost the entire race on a single set of soft tyres. He had to pit at the end of lap two after picking up a puncture, and did 53 laps on the same set of tyres from then on. He began to experience some degradation on them after his 32nd lap on them, but nothing like enough for it to be worth a visit to the pits.

By avoiding the temptation to make a second stop Ocon was able to pick up the final point for tenth. Nico Hulkenberg, who also pitted early, was warned by his team that two-stopping was not a good strategy. Nonetheless he did make a second stop with five laps to go. Romain Grosjean was another driver who made two visits to the pits, and it didn’t work out for him either.

There was some concern over the possibility of rain around the middle of the race which may explain why some teams were reluctant to pit earlier than they did. Once Lewis Hamilton became the first of the front runners to pit and his lap times dropped by well over two seconds, the rest of the front runners soon followed.

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3
Max Verstappen Super soft (27) Soft (29)
Lewis Hamilton Super soft (26) Soft (30)
Daniel Ricciardo Super soft (29) Soft (27)
Sebastian Vettel Soft (27) Super soft (29)
Valtteri Bottas Super soft (28) Soft (28)
Sergio Perez Super soft (30) Soft (26)
Stoffel Vandoorne Super soft (13) Soft (42)
Lance Stroll Super soft (12) Soft (43)
Felipe Massa Super soft (11) Soft (44)
Esteban Ocon Super soft (2) Soft (53)
Fernando Alonso Super soft (26) Soft (29)
Kevin Magnussen Super soft (10) Soft (45)
Romain Grosjean Super soft (11) Soft (22) Super soft (22)
Pierre Gasly Super soft (12) Soft (43)
Jolyon Palmer Super soft (13) Soft (42)
Nico Hulkenberg Super soft (9) Soft (41) Super soft (5)
Pascal Wehrlein Soft (37) Super soft (18)
Marcus Ericsson Soft (38) Super soft (16)
Carlos Sainz Jnr Super soft (29)

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2017 Malaysian Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

Driver Team Pit stop time Gap On lap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 23.489 26
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 23.652 0.163 27
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 23.676 0.187 28
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 23.695 0.206 27
5 Kevin Magnussen Haas 23.766 0.277 10
6 Felipe Massa Williams 23.791 0.302 11
7 Lance Stroll Williams 24.109 0.620 12
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 24.199 0.710 29
9 Sergio Perez Force India 24.314 0.825 30
10 Romain Grosjean Haas 24.419 0.930 33
11 Esteban Ocon Force India 24.456 0.967 2
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 24.580 1.091 13
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 24.719 1.230 38
14 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 24.872 1.383 9
15 Romain Grosjean Haas 24.912 1.423 11
16 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 25.044 1.555 12
17 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 25.060 1.571 37
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 25.558 2.069 13
19 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 25.714 2.225 50
20 Fernando Alonso McLaren 25.798 2.309 26

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Author information

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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2 comments on “2017 Malaysian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops”

  1. Maybe Seb was asking too much of his supersofts, after being the fastest his last eight laps or so were painful.

  2. I thought the track surface was quite abrasive, but apparently these tires are so hard that degradation is still quite low. The main reason why the front-runners were pitting late was that they were waiting for each other to pit first. Due to the low tire wear the timing of the pitstop didn’t matter much. The only objective was to stay out of traffic.
    By the way, Grosjean had nothing to lose when he made his second stop, so his strategy was understandable. Hülkenberg’s strategy didn’t make sense at all. Either he took fresh tires because he had a slow puncture, or his objective was to set the fastest lap of the race.

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