Date:Tuesday March 29 2011
Pirelli came through the opening race of the F1 season with flying colours in Australia.
The tyres certainly brought another variable to the sport which at times can be accused of being a bit dull.
Drivers completed the race with a variety of different strategies with most completing the 58 lap race with two or three stops, while one Sergio Perez completed the race with just one stop.
With Pirelli running the hard and soft compounds, the race also saw the drivers managing their tyres at different stages of the race, with the softer tyre being quicker than the hard tyre until degradation affected its performance.
The performance levels were not as dramatic as some had previously suggested, but it was enough to catch out Rubens Barrichello.
Barrichello’s Williams cut up the inside and hit Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes on lap 22 in what looked like a rather ambitious overtaking move.
But the Brazilian revealed that he was actually defending his position from Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi and due to the different tyre compounds the braking distances caused the incident.
“I wasn't planning on overtaking him [Rosberg] at that point, I was defending from Kobayashi.
'I think we have one tyre with grip and one with less and so we have different braking points. Rosberg braked earlier, and was already in the middle of the corner before I could stop the car.” Rubens Barrichello told Autosport Magazine.
Before the race most teams and drivers predicted that to complete the race drivers would complete either two or three pit stops around Melbourne, a four stop strategy was even considered due to the high tyre wear the teams had experienced in winter testing in Barcelona.
But Sauber’s Sergio Perez surprised everyone when he completed the Australian Grand Prix with just one tyre stop.
The strategy earned him a seventh place finish on his debut, before he was disqualified for a technical infringement.
'To be honest we never thought we could do only one stop. In the briefing we spoke about two or three stops depending on how the race was going. But then I did a very long stint on the prime.”
'I managed the tyres quite nicely, I was not going to the limit and still my pace was three or four tenths off what I could do so... I am really happy for the team. ” Perez told the BBC before the announcement of his disqualification.
For Perez to complete the race with just one stop (lap 23 of a 58 lap race), came as a huge shock as no-one on the grid had predicted the Pirelli soft compound could last that long.
Lotus driver Jarno Trulli was very critical of the Pirelli tyres behaviour during the race.
'They've left us all shocked. I don't mean they were better or worse than we had expected, I mean that they were completely different: it's as if they have been changed since the last tests in Barcelona.” Trulli wrote in Repubblica and quoted by Autosport Magazine.
Trulli added: 'Problem is, the cause of this is unknown. You just need a tiny difference in the set-up, in the balance, in the track or air temperature, and even within the same team you get opposite reactions.
'Just think of Vettel and Webber: Sebastian dominated, while Mark at one point would lose two seconds a lap from Alonso. So, this is the real challenge: to understand how to use the tyres. I think it will be one of the key points of the season.'
But while Trulli criticised the unpredictability of the tyres, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso praised Pirelli following their first outing in a competitive environment.
'They were better than expected - or better than we saw in winter testing, They were a little bit more consistent, so it was a good surprise.
'We were able to do some extra laps and even at the end, the hard tyre was also very competitive. And we saw also some people doing two stops with a long stint on the hard tyre. It was different to winter testing and they were doing good.'
But while Alonso, Perez and Trulli may have been surprised with the tyres performance, there was no-one more surprised than Pirelli’s own motorsport director Paul Hembery.
'After the winter testing, some people were suggesting four or five stops which I always thought was over-exaggerated and misguided, I was expecting three stops to be the most common strategy in Australia, and maybe somebody who was doing really well could do two, but what I wasn't envisaging was a one-stop from Perez, which was quite extraordinary. he said.
But while the tyres unpredictability is not ideal for the drivers and teams, it exactly matches the brief given to Pirelli following their move into the sport and replacing Bridgestone from last season.
The more uncomfortable the drivers are, the more chances the spectators have of seeing them pushed to the limit and making mistakes.
Hembey added: 'It shows that we have brought something different to the sport. We have surprised everyone and surprised ourselves.”
Date:Tuesday March 29 2011
Ferrari behind Mercedes & Williams (Friday March 7 2014)
Pirelli announce tyre compounds for opening races (Friday March 7 2014)
Vettel concerned with lack of pace (Thursday March 6 2014)
More to come for Mercedes (Wednesday March 5 2014)
Where do McLaren stand? (Tuesday March 4 2014)
Red Bull will overcome problems, but when? (Monday March 3 2014)
FOTA folds with a whimper (Saturday March 1 2014)
Williams looking solid (Friday February 28 2014)
London Grand Prix takes step closer to reality? (Thursday February 27 2014)
2014 Formula One Prediction Competition (Thursday February 27 2014)
Smedley's Williams move confirmed (Wednesday February 26 2014)
New Pirelli tyres more consistent & durable (Tuesday February 25 2014)
Wolff to drive two practice sessions (Tuesday February 25 2014)
Mercedes dominate in Bahrain testing (Monday February 24 2014)
Double points cheapens F1 says Newey (Saturday February 22 2014)
Lotus sign Pic (Friday February 21 2014)
Red Bull get their wings (Friday February 21 2014)
Lotus commit to long-term engine deal with Renault (Thursday February 20 2014)
Ecclestone wins court battle (Thursday February 20 2014)
Mercedes happy with mileage gained (Thursday February 20 2014)
No panic for Red Bull (Thursday February 20 2014)
Important test for Pirelli (Wednesday February 19 2014)
Challenging time for Red Bull (Tuesday February 18 2014)
Video: Sochi is ready (Tuesday February 18 2014)
Renault admit to playing catch-up (Monday February 17 2014)
Video: Mercedes mock new F1 rules (Monday February 17 2014)
Schumacher's healing process progresses (Friday February 14 2014)
Kimi & Fernando the right choice for Ferrari (Thursday February 13 2014)
Hill backing for double points (Wednesday February 12 2014)
Renault make breakthrough with Lotus (Tuesday February 11 2014)
Mercedes play down early advantage (Monday February 10 2014)
F1 wants qualifying changes (Friday February 7 2014)
F1 Points in discussion (Friday February 7 2014)
Will Formula One be too slow in 2014? (Thursday February 6 2014)
GP2's Russian Time team principal dies (Thursday February 6 2014)
Ferrari announce testing trio (Wednesday February 5 2014)
F1 team principals are a thing of the past (Tuesday February 4 2014)
2014 Formula One Drivers (Tuesday February 4 2014)
2013 F1 Driver Standings (Tuesday February 4 2014)
2013 F1 Constructor Standings (Tuesday February 4 2014)
Brawn retires from Formula One (Monday February 3 2014)
Schumacher 'in the process' of coming out of coma (Friday January 31 2014)
Boullier named McLaren Racing Director (Thursday January 30 2014)
McLaren duo killed (Thursday January 30 2014)
Video: Red Bull stutter in Jerez (Wednesday January 29 2014)
Video: F1 teams reveal 2014 challengers (Tuesday January 28 2014)
Video: 'Year of change' for Mclaren (Tuesday January 28 2014)
Alonso and Kimi target the title (Monday January 27 2014)
Final chance for Caterham (Saturday January 25 2014)
Boullier to leave Lotus for McLaren? (Friday January 24 2014)
Paul Di Resta makes Mercedes switch (Friday January 24 2014)
Pic & van der Garde in the cold (Thursday January 23 2014)
Caterham announce Kobayashi & Ericsson (Wednesday January 22 2014)
NASCAR boss makes F1 move (Tuesday January 21 2014)
Schumacher remains in coma (Monday January 20 2014)
Ron Dennis back in control at McLaren (Friday January 17 2014)
Pirelli confirmed until 2016 (Friday January 17 2014)
Ecclestone steps down (Thursday January 16 2014)
Lotus deal with Quantum dead (Thursday January 16 2014)
Ecclestone in the news in Germany (Thursday January 16 2014)
A unique situation for Formula One (Wednesday January 15 2014)
Changes afoot at Williams (Tuesday January 14 2014)
John Button dies (Monday January 13 2014)
Video: Tribute to Ayrton Senna (Monday January 13 2014)
Chilton holds on to Marussia seat (Monday January 13 2014)
The numbers game (Monday January 13 2014)
Kobayashi to return to F1? (Friday January 10 2014)
Schumacher travelling speed of 'good skier' (Thursday January 9 2014)
Sutil looking forward to Sauber challenge (Wednesday January 8 2014)
Lotus to miss first F1 test (Tuesday January 7 2014)
Fans hold vigil for Schumacher (Monday January 6 2014)
Schumacher remains critical but stable (Thursday January 2 2014)
Schumacher's condition shows 'slight improvement' (Tuesday December 31 2013)
Schumacher remains in coma overnight (Monday December 30 2013)
Schumacher in critical condition (Sunday December 29 2013)
Ferrari calls for F1 team summit (Friday December 27 2013)
Alonso makes his number selection (Thursday December 26 2013)
2014 Formula One Calendar (Wednesday December 25 2013)
Merry Christmas from Vital F1 (Wednesday December 25 2013)
Video: An F1 steering wheel - the driver's view (Tuesday December 24 2013)
Sauber confirm Gutierrez for 2014 (Tuesday December 24 2013)
Double points for three races (Monday December 23 2013)
Video: Ricciardo wows 100 thousand in Sri Lanka (Sunday December 22 2013)
Video: Teenager Kvyat looking for easy adjustment (Saturday December 21 2013)
BBC & Sky carve up 2014 season (Friday December 20 2013)
Rosberg suffers 320km/h tyre blow out (Friday December 20 2013)
Hulkenberg was offered Force India return in March (Thursday December 19 2013)
Red Bull hit by two key departures (Thursday December 19 2013)
Massa bids final farewell to Ferrari (Wednesday December 18 2013)
F1 Video: Caterham passes 2014 crash test (Tuesday December 17 2013)
Button looking forward to hilarious test (Tuesday December 17 2013)
Sauber switch for Sutil (Monday December 16 2013)
Perez backing for double points plan (Saturday December 14 2013)
FIA approve F1 strategy group proposals (Friday December 13 2013)
Perez makes move to Force India (Thursday December 12 2013)
Spot on F1 grid available (Thursday December 12 2013)
Vettel brands double points suggestion as absurd (Wednesday December 11 2013)
Wacky Races (Tuesday December 10 2013)
Bottas looking forward to Massa challenge (Monday December 9 2013)
Video: Schumacher reviews F1 2013 (Sunday December 8 2013)
|7.||Push The Button||419|