Stirling Moss’s race strategies – 1958 Argentine Grand Prix
Race finishing position – 1st
The famed privateer team owner Rob Walker and the peerless Stirling Moss had a number of notable victories, the most notable race strategies of his was the 1958 Argentine Grand Prix victory. This was the consequence of a strategic bluff,’ as it was dubbed.
Moss couldn’t match the pace of the 2.5-liter Ferraris while driving a lightweight but underpowered 1.96-liter Cooper-Climax T43 – practically an F2 vehicle. Worse, its four-stud wheels took substantially longer to replace than the Ferraris’ knock-off single-nut wheels.
When Maserati driver Juan Manuel Fangio pitted, Moss took the lead. It was too late for Ferrari driver Luigi Musso to realize what was going on and that the pair of wheels placed in the Rob Walker pits were part of a hoax.
Despite Moss’ caution on tyres on the verge of failure and late-race driving on oil-covered areas of the circuit to decrease weight, he held on to win by little under 2.7 seconds and claim the first win for a mid-engined car in Formula One.
Mika Salo’s race strategies – 1997 Monaco Grand Prix
Race finishing position – 5th
The 1997 Monaco Grand Prix was slowed by rain, with the quickest lap being 35 seconds slower than the pole position time. As a result, the race was stopped at the two-hour mark, with 62 of the original 78 laps completed, giving the Tyrrell team a chance to record their sole points of the season.
Tyrrell attempted to finish the race without pit stops as the rain came and went. Even though the underpowered Ford ED V8 engine wasn’t particularly thirsty, Salo had to make adjustments to maximize efficiency once it became evident that the plan would work in the middle of the race.
Giancarlo Fisichella’s race strategies – 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix
Race Finishing position – 1st
Giancarlo Fisichella qualified eighth for the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos and maintained that position during the first lap of the race when the Safety Car was deployed. Jordan’s performance had vastly improved over the first two races of the season, which is why Fisichella fought against the counter-intuitive advice to pit during the Safety Car period.
However, this unconventional maneuver was made with a specific goal in mind. The race was held in wet circumstances and proved to be a crash fest, with Gary Anderson, director of racing and test engineering, devising a daring strategy. The car was refueled early under the Safety Car, allowing it to complete 75 percent of the race distance without stopping again.
Michael Schumacher’s race strategies – 2004 French Grand Prix
Race finishing position – 1st
Michael Schumacher qualified second behind Renault’s Fernando Alonso in a Ferrari that was structurally faster but struggled to demonstrate it in qualifying or the early laps of a stint on Bridgestone rubber.
Ferrari had a three-stop strategy for the race, but strategist Luca Baldisserri also had a four-stop strategy in mind in case Schumacher didn’t get clear air. Ferrari made four pit stops after chasing Alonso for the first two stints.
Sebastian Vettel’s race strategies – 2010 Italian Grand Prix
Race finishing position – 4th
Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull had planned to pit around Lap 14-15 of the Monza race, but he ended up staying on his starting Bridgestones all the way to Lap 52. He performed the mandatory pit stop to switch to the other tyre compound at the end of the penultimate lap, just like Albon in Australia 2022.
The plan worked out well. Vettel started the race in eighth place, and despite his soft compound tyres losing some grip, he was able to maintain a solid speed throughout the stint by taking advantage of the clear air. He was expected to comfortably pass Williams’ Nico Hulkenberg and Renault’s Robert Kubica.