Pirelli F1 Australian GP - The race from a tyre point of view

Pirelli F1 Australian GP - The race from a tyre point of view

02.04.2023: Australian Grand Prix Albert Park, Melbourne 31 March - April 2nd 2023 Sunday, April 2nd 2023 Mario Isola - Motorsport Director "This was a truly eventful Australian Grand Prix, with three red flag periods as well as a safety car and a virtu


Australian Grand Prix
Albert Park, Melbourne
31 March - April 2nd 2023
Sunday, April 2nd 2023

 

Mario Isola - Motorsport Director

 
"This was a truly eventful Australian Grand Prix, with three red flag periods as well as a safety car and a virtual safety car. All these occurrences effectively defined how the strategies shook out, while in terms of tyre behaviour, the compounds performed as we expected them to, with the hard C2 tyre playing a leading role.


When the first safety car came out after Albon went off on lap seven, some drivers who had started on the mediums switched to the hard – followed by others once the red flag came out to allow the track to be cleaned. Despite not having much information over long runs – very few drivers strung together stints of longer than 10 laps or so in free practice – the C2 showed itself to be a very consistent tyre in terms of degradation and not far from the pace of other nominated compounds, fulfilling all the demands placed on it.



The fact that we saw all three compounds on the starting grid highlights how bringing the C4 tyre to Melbourne this year was the correct choice, as it was judged to be a valid race tyre as well as becoming the protagonist of the final run to the flag, thanks to two red flag periods that were almost consecutive. Both this compound and the medium showed good performance today, albeit over relatively short stints, with higher temperatures and a more rubbered-in surface."




THE RACE FROM A TYRE POINT OF VIEW
 



•    Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the Australian Grand Prix for the first time in his career. In an action-packed race, the reigning world champion led two other world champions past the chequered flag: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso. All the podium finishers ended the race on the P Zero Red soft, following a tyre change one lap from the finish.


•    The Australian Grand Prix was interrupted by three safety car periods and three red flag periods, including a red flag just a lap from the finish, leading to two standing starts and a final rolling start. The virtual safety car also made an appearance, due to a car stopped on the exit of the pitlane.



•    The race strategies were largely influenced by the frequent safety car periods and other race interruptions. The top three started on the P Zero Yellow medium and then went onto the P Zero White hard at the first neutralisation. The last three laps were instead run on two different sets of soft tyres.


•    A total of 10 drivers completed the longest stint on the hard tyre, covering 47 laps on this compound, including all three podium finishers. Alpine’s Esteban Ocon kept the same set of hard tyres that he had fitted on lap one without changing them during the first red flag period, completing 54 laps on the same tyres. Alfa Romeo drivers Valtteri Bottas and Guanyou Zhou, also used the same set of hard tyres for more than 50 laps.



•    AlphaTauri’s Nyck De Vries was instead the driver to complete the most consecutive laps on the two other available compounds: 37 on the medium and nine on the soft.


•    Red Bull’s Sergio Perez set the fastest lap of the race, using the hard tyre (1m20.235s), and was also one of the drivers to complete the longest stint on this compound. Alonso and De Vries were instead fastest on the medium and soft tyres, setting times of 1m22.603s and 1m21.183s on these compounds respectively.






What's next?



 
After a very intense start with three races in one month, there’s now a brief pause for the FIA Formula One World Championship. Next up is the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, from April 28 to 30, supported also by Formula 2.



Just one week after that comes the first of three American races this year, with Miami hosting its grand prix around the Hard Rock stadium for the second year.


 


-Anthony Peacock, photos Pirelli

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02.04.2023 / MaP

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