Track position was everything at the Catalonia circuit as Hamilton crossed the line 0.6 of a second ahead of his team mate and rival Nico Rosberg to take the chequered flag. Strategy was crucial and was the deciding factor in what was a closely fought battle over the 66 laps. Each of the Mercedes pair traded tenths of a second through every sector of the Grand Prix. Blow for blow like heavyweight titans waiting for the moment to land the knock out punch it was part bare knuckle fight part chess match in an arena of game theory that John Von Neumann would have been proud of.
This was an excellent example of how economics is played out in Formula 1 as Nico opted to change strategy midway through the race and run the harder tyre for the second stint rather than the third. This was an attempt to get the slower (hard) tyre out of the way only to get the optimum benefit from the medium (and slightly faster) compound for the final stint with a lighter fuel weighted car. Why did he decide to do this and not follow Hamilton’s strategy? Nico had to do something different as Hamilton was 3.7 seconds up the road heading into the first round of stops. Perhaps the German realised that he could get quicker times on the medium tyre in the third stint than Hamilton could get in the second due to having a lighter car (as the fuel depleted). Rosberg’s plan worked as he managed to pump in faster laps on his 2nd medium tyre phase than Hamilton did.
So if this was the case how did Nico Rosberg not manage to pass Lewis Hamilton?