GPR-A wrote: ↑
Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:14 am
I guess the game of chess between Ferrari and Mercedes wouldn't allow either to go for 1 stopper. If Mercedes qualifies ahead and tries to do a one stopper, Ferrari would pit early to force a two stopper and vice versa. I repeated in an earlier post that, if both wants to do a one stopper, RB would try to do a two stopper with Ultras and would attempt to spoil their party. They would be having an upgraded MGU from renault, so they can expect a bit more grunt. Though we can argue that the tires are more reliable, but it not about the tires anymore.
I think that really depends on how close they are. The 'undercut' will only work if the car performing it is close enough, e.g. perhaps within 4 seconds depending on how much faster the fresh tire is to gain track position. The bigger the gap, the more time the leading car has to decide if the strategy will be changed or not to still pit and retain the lead.
Assuming Mercedes is the leading car into T1 and wants to attempt a 1-stop race, they could very well do that, even if Ferrari remains close. Imagine at around a quarter race distance, Ferrari is right there within 4 seconds to the leading Mercedes. Ferrari pits and goes for the 2 stop race and undercut.
Mercedes then faces two possibilities:
1.) immediately pit, change to a two stop race, but lose track position (don't see why they would, unless they were on the 2 stop to begin with)
2.) stay on the 1 stop, even if it means the Ferrari who has dropped back is now running at a faster pace, meaning the gap from 25 seconds (or whatever a pit stop costs) is now decreasing. The crucial difference here being; no matter how fast that Ferrari is, they will have to pit again, which will cost them another 25 seconds
. So technically, they could speed up right to the rear of that leading Mercedes, they'd still be behind. Assuming Mercedes then stop at the optimal 1-stop point, they'd of course concede track position, but only until that Ferrari pits again. Best case for the 2 stop Ferrari; they'll catch up to the Mercedes before the checkered flag and attempt an overtake on fresher tires.
So no, I don't see how a car that in theory is as quick but without track position could force the leading car to change its strategy. Now, of course, if the leading Mercedes has a larger gap and the contesting car pits early because it's on a different strategy - it would of course be daft to continue on that 1 stop race. To pit then and retain track position is beneficial since you are also protecting against a potential safety car and finding yourself with worse tires vs your direct competitor behind.
The only way I see what you are saying to make any sense, if is there is limited tire wear data and the leading car that is on a 1-stop race is unsure if they can pull off that strategy. The worst thing would be to target a 1-stop and commit to it and later find out that the tires will run out before. I.e. if the aim is to do 40% on the first tire, but the tires go off early, meaning you pit at 35%, you then face that the second tire has to last 5% longer, forcing you to run below whatever delta you calculated in the first place.
The only thing that will change the above in a significant way, is if you have an extraordinary event taking place: For example a VSC or SC phase that decreases the cost of your pit stop. Then it might be beneficial to pit 'early'. Case in point: China or Bahrain.