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Re: Driver(s) of the Day - 2021 Portugal Grand Prix

Posted: Wed May 05, 2021 4:45 pm
by pokerman
Exediron wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 6:20 pm
pokerman wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 2:55 pm
Exediron wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:16 pm
pokerman wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 2:29 pm
I think the votes for Alonso show how popular he is on here, he finished behind his teammate, I think perhaps were some sight is lost is in the fact that qualifying badly gave him a better tyre strategy similar to what we saw with Vettel and Stroll, having to start on softs was not a great strategy, ask Sainz.
I'm not sure we can say the strategy is the reason Ocon barely finished in front of Alonso. Ocon was on a superior strategy to Norris and got thumped by him, whereas Alonso was on an identical strategy to Ricciardo and beat him. From the drivers I've looked at data for, Ocon's second stint (on hards) was not very good.

I think what we're seeing is that while Ocon is notably quicker than Alonso in qualifying at the moment, he does not carry that advantage into the race. He was barely if any quicker in Imola, and now he was barely if any quicker in Portugal.
I've looked at the lap history Ocon stopped on lap 22 for hards, Alonso stopped on lap 40 for hards and on lap 41 he was 8 seconds behind Ocon, then took 25 laps to catch Ocon, that's an average of 0.3s per lap. Obviously Alonso had more cars to pass, the true speed difference we see in the last 8 laps when both had clean air and Alonso was 0.6s quicker but his tyres were 18 laps fresher, does that really allude to Alonso having better race pace.

As a consequence of qualifying poorly Alonso clearly had the better race strategy and to suggest that Ocon had poor race pace on the hards when 0.6s slower on tyres that were 18 laps older than Alonso's suggests that perhaps that was plucked out of the air a bit.
I'm suggesting Ocon had poor pace on hards because compared to everyone else on hards (and even several on mediums) he wasn't able to get performance out of them to the end. When he emerged from the pits he was doing high 22s, and at the end of the race he was doing mid-to-low 22s. Every other driver on the same strategy found more pace as the race went on, whereas Ocon did not.

From about lap 50 onward, he was consistently slower than Norris, Leclerc, and Alonso -- namely all of the drivers in his vicinity. And this isn't because all of them pitted for fresh tyres. Only Alonso did, but all the rest continued to get quicker throughout the race -- something Ocon was unable to do.

Looking at other drivers on similar strategies:

Norris (mediums): Pitted on lap 22, fastest lap on lap 55
Leclerc (hards): Pitted on lap 25, fastest lap on lap 63
Ocon (hards): Pitted on lap 22, fastest lap on lap 34
Gasly (mediums): Pitted on lap 24, fastest lap on lap 65
Sainz (mediums): Pitted on lap 21, fastest lap on lap 60
Giovinazzi (hards): Pitted on lap 22, fastest lap on lap 60
Vettel (mediums): Pitted on lap 22, fastest lap on lap 60
Tsunoda (hards): Pitted on lap 21, fastest lap on lap 61

All of those drivers pitted around a similar window to Ocon. Every one of them was able to extract performance until near the end of their stint. Out of all the drivers I looked at, Ocon was the only one who wasn't going notably faster in the final 15 laps than he was in the first 15 after his stop.

This isn't just about Alonso. Ocon's second stint was weak compared to everyone else who ran a similar strategy.
I actually saw a summary of the race that it was Ocon's pace on the hards that lead to some other drivers going from soft to hards rather than soft to mediums, maybe Ocon took too much out of the tyres early in his stint, even then it doesn't take away from what I said originally that Alonso should be faster on tyres that are 18 laps fresher and clearly he had a better race strategy starting on mediums rather than softs.