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
2016 Belgian Grand Prix - Qualifying (Saturday August 27 2016)
2016 Belgian Grand Prix - FP3 (Saturday August 27 2016)
2016 Belgian Grand Prix - FP2 (Friday August 26 2016)
2016 Belgian Grand Prix - FP1 (Friday August 26 2016)
Will Renault take up Magnussen option? (Thursday August 25 2016)
Hamilton set for huge grid penalty (Thursday August 25 2016)
Blog: Spa Preview (Wednesday August 24 2016)
Drivers make tyre selections for Belgium (Tuesday August 23 2016)
F1 Prediction Competition open for round 13 (Monday August 22 2016)
Who will win at Spa? (Monday August 22 2016)
Formula One is a team sport (Friday August 19 2016)
Formula One needs to tweak blue flag rules (Thursday August 18 2016)
Haas close to confirming new line-up (Wednesday August 17 2016)
All eyes on Ocon (Tuesday August 16 2016)
We should test Halo properly says Massa (Monday August 15 2016)
Toro Rosso expect team-mate rivalry (Friday August 12 2016)
New face on the grid after the summer break (Thursday August 11 2016)
Whisper it, the old Hockenheim wasn’t very good (Wednesday August 10 2016)
Just let them drive! Says Wolff (Tuesday August 9 2016)
Rosberg will bounce back (Monday August 8 2016)
F1 penalties too inconsistent (Monday August 8 2016)
Ferrari form is painful (Friday August 5 2016)
Alonso unhappy (Friday August 5 2016)
Hamilton pleased with buffer in championship race (Thursday August 4 2016)
Kvyat a broken man (Thursday August 4 2016)
Pirelli test new wide tyres (Wednesday August 3 2016)
Verstappen earning trust at Red Bull (Wednesday August 3 2016)
Arrests made in Bernie's mother-in-law kidnapping (Tuesday August 2 2016)
Blog: German GP Report (Tuesday August 2 2016)
Was it right to penalise Rosberg? Rosberg says no (Monday August 1 2016)
New leader after Germany drama (Monday August 1 2016)
2016 German Grand Prix - Race (Sunday July 31 2016)
Blog: Hockenheim Qualifying (Saturday July 30 2016)
2016 German Grand Prix - Qualifying (Saturday July 30 2016)
2016 German Grand Prix - FP3 (Saturday July 30 2016)
2016 German Grand Prix - FP2 (Friday July 29 2016)
2016 German Grand Prix - FP1 (Friday July 29 2016)
Cockpit protection introduction delayed (Friday July 29 2016)
Championship will be lost by DNFs (Thursday July 28 2016)
Allison leaves Ferrari by mutual consent (Thursday July 28 2016)
F1 Prediction Competition open for round 12 (Wednesday July 27 2016)
Drivers make tyre selections for Germany (Wednesday July 27 2016)
Blog: Hockenheim Preview (Tuesday July 26 2016)
F1 must look at safety aspect of yellow flags (Tuesday July 26 2016)
Bernie's mother-in-law kidnapped claim reports (Tuesday July 26 2016)
Who will win in Germany? (Monday July 25 2016)
Hamilton snatches championship lead (Monday July 25 2016)
Another four years for Vettel at Ferrari? (Monday July 25 2016)
Blog: Hungarian GP Report (Sunday July 24 2016)
2016 Hungarian Grand Prix - Race (Sunday July 24 2016)
Blog: Hungaroring Qualifying (Saturday July 23 2016)
2016 Hungarian Grand Prix - Qualifying (Saturday July 23 2016)
2016 Hungarian Grand Prix - FP3 (Saturday July 23 2016)
2016 Hungarian Grand Prix - FP2 (Friday July 22 2016)
2016 Hungarian Grand Prix - FP1 (Friday July 22 2016)
Rosberg signs new deal with Mercedes (Friday July 22 2016)
FIA clarify radio communications (Friday July 22 2016)
Alonso reveals he may quit Formula One (Thursday July 21 2016)
Peter Sauber retires as team is sold (Thursday July 21 2016)
You should never, ever, give up says Hamilton (Wednesday July 20 2016)
Drivers make tyre selections for Hungary (Wednesday July 20 2016)
Hamilton's run will end says Rosberg (Tuesday July 19 2016)
Blog: Hungaroring Preview (Tuesday July 19 2016)
F1 Predicton Competition open for round 11 (Monday July 18 2016)
Who will win in Hungary? (Monday July 18 2016)
Sainz confirms commitment to Red Bull (Friday July 15 2016)
F1 set to scrap prize money structure? (Thursday July 14 2016)
Hamilton Mania (Wednesday July 13 2016)
Ferrari keeping an eye on Hamilton (Tuesday July 12 2016)
Blog: British GP Report (Monday July 11 2016)
Hamilton Mania (Monday July 11 2016)
2016 British GP - Race (Sunday July 10 2016)
Blog: Silverstone Qualifying (Saturday July 9 2016)
2016 British Grand Prix - Qualifying (Saturday July 9 2016)
2016 British Grand Prix - FP3 (Saturday July 9 2016)
2016 British Grand Prix - FP2 (Friday July 8 2016)
2016 British Grand Prix - FP1 (Friday July 8 2016)
Blog: Silverstone Preview (Thursday July 7 2016)
No reason for Pirelli tyre failure - Vettel (Wednesday July 6 2016)
Drivers make their selections for Silverstone (Wednesday July 6 2016)
Incident was brainless - But let them race! (Tuesday July 5 2016)
A rare good day for McLaren & Button (Tuesday July 5 2016)
Reckless Rosberg (Monday July 4 2016)
F1 Prediction Competition open for round 10 (Monday July 4 2016)
Who will win in Britain? (Monday July 4 2016)
Blog: Austrian GP Report (Sunday July 3 2016)
2016 Austrian GP - Race (Sunday July 3 2016)
Blog: Red Bull Ring Qualifying (Saturday July 2 2016)
2016 Austrian GP - Qualifying (Saturday July 2 2016)
2016 Austrian GP - FP3 (Saturday July 2 2016)
2016 Austrian GP - FP2 (Friday July 1 2016)
2016 Austrian GP - FP1 (Friday July 1 2016)
Blog: Red Bull Ring Preview (Thursday June 30 2016)
Pirelli announce driver selections for Austria (Tuesday June 28 2016)
F1 Prediction Comp - Open for round 9 (Monday June 27 2016)
Who will win in Austria? (Monday June 27 2016)
Sainz expected to stay with Red Bull stable (Friday June 24 2016)
F1 musical chairs begins (Thursday June 23 2016)
Title looking good for Rosberg says Hamilton (Wednesday June 22 2016)
Williams hunting down new pit-stop record (Tuesday June 21 2016)
|7.||Push The Button||483|