Australian GP: Tyre and Pit Stop Strategy
The first race of the season and Pirelli’s latest development of its tyre compounds held up better than some forecast, delivering the mix of two and three-stop strategies that the Italian manufacturer promised. Kimi Raikkonen’s victory owed much to the preservation power of the Lotus as his nearest rivals couldn’t compete with his two-stop run to the chequered flag.
Force India also had a successful start to the year, with both cars in the points as they also made just the two trips to the pit lane for fresh rubber. This was in stark contrast to Red Bull and McLaren who both suffered on the supersoft compounds. The ability to get their rubber up to temperature in the morning’s delayed and decidedly cold qualifying session may have seen Red Bull lock-out the front-row of the grid but it didn’t help the tyres come the race. McLaren, furthermore, found that their unspectacular qualifying pace was only the start of the list of their problems that need to be fixed.
The two Mercedes, in contrast, put together the two longest opening stints on the supersoft tyres – impressive given their qualifying pace. It hints that the outfit may have much more to offer in the next few races.
Click image to enlarge
Related Links: “After The Dust Has Settled Down Under” – Race Reaction