Let’s take a look at the race strategy analysis applied by Ferrari and the rest of the teams in the 2023 Formula 1 British Grand Prix.
The Silverstone race turned out to be much less complex than expected in terms of tire degradation. In fact, compared to Friday’s conditions, the temperatures dropped to around 24 degrees for the air and a maximum of 36 degrees for the track surface. These conditions mitigated the severity of the track, making tire management easier. As we have seen in the track analysis, Silverstone is a front-limited circuit where the front axle is stressed. Now, let’s analyze the strategies and choices made by the teams in the British GP.
Unexpected and contained tire degradation
The race pace simulations conducted on Friday had highlighted some durability concerns. However, during the race, these issues did not manifest themselves, to the extent that George Russell managed to cover more than half of the race distance on the red tire compound. Additionally, the pace maintained by the Mercedes driver proved to be very effective and consistent, allowing him to overtake the Ferrari cars. McLaren also had excellent performance, showing progress since the race at the Red Bull Ring and capable of challenging Mercedes, Aston Martin, and Ferrari.
Analyzing the strategies implemented in the British Grand Prix, we can see that most drivers were able to complete the race with just one pit stop. Furthermore, some fortunate ones were able to pit during the Virtual Safety Car (VSC) or Safety Car (SC) period, saving a significant amount of time.
At the start, the yellow tire was widely used, with a few exceptions. Among them, George Russell, Yuki Tsunoda, and De Vries opted for the red tire, while Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hulkenberg chose the white tire for a long first stint. However, what surprised was the performance of the tire compounds. Most teams were concerned about tire degradation, but the new, stiffer construction of the tires seemed to provide consistent performance on a demanding track.
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Ferrari still struggles in long high-speed corners
Ferrari faced significant difficulties as they failed to capitalize on their qualifying and the promising performance shown in Austria. Charles Leclerc was unable to maintain a pace that could challenge McLaren and Mercedes. The underperformance is likely attributed to the nature of the Silverstone circuit, which puts a strain on the front axle, unlike Montreal and Spielberg.
The next circuit is the Hungaroring, and based on its characteristics, it should favor the Scuderia. However, the performance of the MCL60 could dampen the hopes of the men in red, as the papaya-colored car has made considerable progress. Another test will be the Spa Francorchamps Circuit, which is also front-limited and a high-speed track. We will see if the men from Maranello, led by Frederic Vasseur, can fight for the second position in the constructors’ championship with further updates.