How Does Strategy Work In F1?

How Does Strategy Work In F1

Formula 1 (F1) racing isn’t just about who is the fastest driver on the track. F1 drivers rely on a tech-savvy team to develop the best strategies for each race. Keep reading to learn what strategies drivers use in Formula 1.

Formula 1 Strategy

Two of the most important aspects of strategizing F1 races are determining the best type of tire compound (such as soft, medium, or hard) and deciding when to make the most time-effective pit stop. F1 drivers are required to make at least one pit stop during the race, per the rules of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). F1 teams hire strategists to conduct in-depth research and collect data to determine the best choice of action during each F1 race.

F1 Strategy Departments

The strategy department for each F1 racing team begins its work long before the race occurs. The department is in charge of strategizing the best tires to use and timing the pit stop. Strategists typically collect data from previous races (and even previous years) to calculate the best possible course of action for the upcoming race. Matters such as the projected weather and tire performance are all considered in F1 strategies. Assessing the speed and performance of competitors is also a major part of this process. However, the strategy department’s work doesn’t end there; during the race, this part of the team is in charge of determining last-minute decisions based on the driver’s standing in the race.

Pit Stop Timing

F1 drivers are required to make at least one pit stop during each race. Strategists for each F1 racing team consider several factors, such as whether the course is wet or dry, the use of caution flags, the current performance of the tires and car, and the position of competitors on the track. Quite often, strategists for F1 teams sit above the track and use computers and other technology to finalize the call of when the driver should make a pit stop. Between balancing losing track position and getting new tires fitted for the car, timing the pit stop is one of the most crucial aspects of F1 racing.

Adjusting Strategy Mid-Race

Making accurate predictions is one of the most important aspects of F1 racing. After all, winning an F1 race depends on not just the driver but also the pit stop crew and strategy department. During the race, the strategy department must consider any issues that occur during the race. Some F1 drivers and team strategists may make risky calls to claim victory, such as deciding not to change tires during a pit stop. One small decision made during the F1 race can lead either to victory or a major loss, but perhaps that is one of the most alluring aspects for fans of the international racing sport.