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GP Week : Issue 222
sebastian Vettel was the first driver to pit in Canada. Having charged from the back of the pack on a set of supersoft tyres, he dived for service after just seven laps, exchanging his red walled tyres for a set of soft compound Pirelli's. At the time he'd been running with Felipe Massa as the pair carved their way through the midfield on a ceaseless march towards the points. By lap four Vettel was 13th but his stop dropped him to the rear of the pack, undoing all his early effort. From there the German gradually made his way for ward. The Manor's proved little resistance for the Ferrari and by lap 15 he'd climbed back to 16th place. Massa meanwhile was ninth, tucked up behind Daniil Kvyat. When the bulk of the field stopped approaching half distance Vettel rocketed up the field. At half distance, following his own second stop, he found himself ninth. But while Vettel eventually clawed his way back to fifth place the decision to stop him early seemed to add little benefit. Instead, having carved his way through traffic in the early laps, it undid much of his good work and forced him to put his car at risk again. As it was the strategy paid off for Vettel, but it wasn't without a moment or two. He came close to contact with Nico Hulkenberg at the final chicane and the strategy put pressure on the 27-year-old to pass cars. While it made for an entertaining race and a rallying drive it was an unecessarily risky strategy from the Italian team. One can't help but feel a more traditional approach to the strategy would have netted the same result without placing the car at risk. 27 GPWEEK.com // 27 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> CANADA PARTNERS: Vettel's vexing strategy