Yas Marina’s reputation as an overtaking-free zone was cemented by its latest race.
Only drivers with a huge performance advantage over other cars – in the region of two seconds – were able to overtake. This was the problem Lewis Hamilton reflected on before the race when explaining how difficult it would be to hold up Nico Rosberg and encourage others to overtake his team mate.
Hamilton backed off so much at the end of the race that even Max Verstappen, whose tyres were seven laps older, was able to catch the Mercedes. At one point he was set a lap time target of 1’45.1 but delivered laps of 1’45.779, 1’45.831 and 1’45.946.
Because Hamilton was dictating such a slow pace variations on the normal two-stop strategy became realistic and the two drivers who exploited them benefitted. Sebastian Vettel ran a long middle stint and switched to super-softs at the end, and used the performance advantage to rise from sixth to third. By the time he caught Rosberg, however, his tyres were already beginning to fade, thwarting Hamilton’s hopes he would pass Rosberg.
Another driver who used an unorthodox strategy to great effect was Max Verstappen. By converting to a one-stop strategy he was able to salvage fourth place having fallen to last after his lap one spin.
2016 Abu Dhabi 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. Toggle drivers using controls below:
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2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race chart
The gaps between each driver on every lap compared to the leader’s average lap time. Very large gaps omitted. Scroll to zoom, drag to pan and right-click to reset. Toggle drivers using controls below:
2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
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5 comments on “2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix lap charts”
27th November 2016, 19:16
After around lap 40, Hamilton was so slow that even Alonso was able to reduce the gap to him, and drivers like Palmer and Ocon were producing very similar lap times.
27th November 2016, 20:50
I think Red bull missed a trick with Ricciardo. Surely it would have been better to leave him out on the SS like Max? He set the fastest lap then came in, so he could have pumped out a few more 45s and slotted above Nico in the overcut, as the undercut didn’t seem that strong here.
28th November 2016, 8:16
I agree, quite puzzling. A reply on my earlier comment (http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2016/11/27/2016-abu-dhabi-grand-prix-tyre-strategies-and-pit-stops/#comment-3362524) suggests/questions that maybe RIC couldn’t get the life out of the SS but VES went twice as long even with some possible flat-spotting from the turn 1 spin. Wait for the radio transcript and see if it tells us anything.
16th December 2016, 18:43
16th December 2016, 18:43
you @deltas4 and @cavman99 do make a point. HAM, ROS and RAI, who were the ones leading RIC before those first stops, all came in earlier. So why not hold track position and go for the highest position possible for RIC.
We can only guess but here’s my take on the situation. The thing is, RIC was never in a position to win this race. Had they had him on the same plan B as MVer, so 1 stop at around lap 20-22, he probably would have come out in 3rd position just ahead of RAI, behind the two MERCs with about 10 seconds behind HAM (and that’s even without HAM trying to catch RIC after HAMs stop, instead opting to slow down, just like he actually did, and try to make it as hard as possible for ROS to overtake MVer). Now the question is, would HAM, who obviously needed a win for a realistic chance at the WDC, be able to drive around 15 seconds faster than RIC in about 35 laps in total? Well, probably easy peasy, and RB knew it, that’s what I think. It equals around 0.4s per lap. HAM was holding back at least 1.5 seconds a lap and still RIC was merely able to match his times.
So with a win out of the question, next best thing would be enhancing MVer’s ranking. For the last couple of races, he himself and the team repeatedly expressed their ambition to get him fourth in the standings. So he had to close a 5-point gap between him and VET. Unfortunately for them however, he spun, but luckily for them HAM, having his own agenda, slowed the whole pack drastically, so they could put plan B (a onestopper) into action. But still, the only way for him to get 5 more points than VET, who was way ahead but not directly behind HAM and ROS, was VETs pace getting even more compromised. With RIC having nothing to gain or lose in terms of driver standing position, they chose to have him do a pit stop and come out right in front of VET so to keep him in check while MVer could have his onestopper work for him. Fer however reacted adequately by having VET change to a onestopper himself. So while RB did what they could after MV’s spin to give him a fighting chance to battle for fourth in the driver standing (essentially by compromising RICs race), Fer countered it.
I don’t have any link with RB-command so once again, I can’t be sure, but what do you think of all of this?
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