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
Does Ferrari's Raikkonen option expire today? (Friday July 31 2015)
Double podium for Red Bull Racing (Thursday July 30 2015)
Vettel dedicates victory to Bianchi (Wednesday July 29 2015)
Vital talking point: Hungary - Merc stalling? (Tuesday July 28 2015)
Blog: Hungarian GP Report (Monday July 27 2015)
2015 Hungary GP - Race (Sunday July 26 2015)
Blog: Hungaroring Qualifying (Saturday July 25 2015)
2015 Hungary GP - Qualifying (Saturday July 25 2015)
2015 Hungary GP - FP3 (Saturday July 25 2015)
2015 - Hungary GP - FP2 (Friday July 24 2015)
2015 - Hungary GP - FP1 (Friday July 24 2015)
They will continue to race hard for Bianchi (Thursday July 23 2015)
Drivers mourn at Bianchi's funeral (Wednesday July 22 2015)
Blog: Hungaroring Preview (Tuesday July 21 2015)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 10 (Tuesday July 21 2015)
Who will win in Hungary? (Tuesday July 21 2015)
Sad day for the sport and the team says Lowdon (Monday July 20 2015)
Chilton dedicates win to Bianchi (Monday July 20 2015)
Jules Bianchi dies aged 25 (Saturday July 18 2015)
Will Germans back Hockenheim race? (Friday July 17 2015)
McLaren trying to unlock potential (Thursday July 16 2015)
Red Bull lack patience (Wednesday July 15 2015)
Bianchi's father 'less optimistic' over recovery (Tuesday July 14 2015)
Blog: What has happened to the Strategy Group? (Monday July 13 2015)
Button's future up in the air (Friday July 10 2015)
Hamilton wants more control (Thursday July 9 2015)
Mercedes to power Red Bull Racing? (Wednesday July 8 2015)
Vital talking point - Did Williams get it wrong? (Tuesday July 7 2015)
Blog: British GP Report (Tuesday July 7 2015)
Records fall for Hamilton (Monday July 6 2015)
Vital talking point: Hamilton's pit, was it luck? (Monday July 6 2015)
2015 - British GP - Race result (Sunday July 5 2015)
Blog: Silverstone Qualifying (Sunday July 5 2015)
2015 - British GP - Qualifying (Saturday July 4 2015)
2015 - British GP - FP3 (Saturday July 4 2015)
2015 - British GP - FP2 (Friday July 3 2015)
2015 - British GP - FP1 (Friday July 3 2015)
Yet more gimmicks from F1 Strategy Group (Friday July 3 2015)
Hamilton calls for better trophies (Thursday July 2 2015)
Blog: Silverstone Preview (Wednesday July 1 2015)
Formula E cannot compare with F1 says Horner (Wednesday July 1 2015)
Pirelli to request more F1 tests (Tuesday June 30 2015)
2015 Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 9 (Tuesday June 30 2015)
Who will win the British Grand Prix? (Tuesday June 30 2015)
New contract for Horner (Monday June 29 2015)
F1 teams are all talk says Todt (Monday June 29 2015)
Formula 1 v Formula E (Monday June 29 2015)
Positive test for McLaren (Friday June 26 2015)
Mosley praise for Ecclestone (Thursday June 25 2015)
Mercedes remain on top in second test (Thursday June 25 2015)
Miami Dolphins owner to buy a stake in F1 (Wednesday June 24 2015)
Red Bull to sack Horner? (Wednesday June 24 2015)
Rain hampers running on first test day (Wednesday June 24 2015)
Ferrari to hand Red Bull a lifeline? (Tuesday June 23 2015)
Angry Mateschitz (Tuesday June 23 2015)
Vital talking point: Austria - ah, erm, err (Monday June 22 2015)
Blog: Austrian GP Report (Sunday June 21 2015)
2015 Austrian GP - Race (Sunday June 21 2015)
Blog: Red Bull Ring Qualifying (Saturday June 20 2015)
Four drivers hit with penalties (Saturday June 20 2015)
2015 Austrian GP - Qualifying (Saturday June 20 2015)
2015 Austrian GP - FP3 (Saturday June 20 2015)
2015 Austrian GP - FP2 (Friday June 19 2015)
2015 Austrian GP - FP1 (Friday June 19 2015)
Italian Grand Prix to alternate? (Thursday June 18 2015)
Will Michelin return to Formula One? (Thursday June 18 2015)
Blog: Red Bull Ring Preview (Wednesday June 17 2015)
2015 Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 8 (Tuesday June 16 2015)
Who will win in Austria? (Tuesday June 16 2015)
Hulkenberg wins Le Mans (Monday June 15 2015)
Head knighted (Monday June 15 2015)
Boullier calls for engine regulation change (Friday June 12 2015)
F1 holds new talks over New Jersey race (Thursday June 11 2015)
F1 regulations too complex for Ferrari chairman (Wednesday June 10 2015)
Grosjean apology for Stevens (Wednesday June 10 2015)
Rosberg & Vettel not good for F1 says Bernie (Wednesday June 10 2015)
Renault quit threat very real (Tuesday June 9 2015)
Blog: Canadian GP Report (Tuesday June 9 2015)
Vital talking point: Can it get worse for McLaren? (Monday June 8 2015)
2015 - Canada - Race (Sunday June 7 2015)
Blog: Montreal Qualifying (Sunday June 7 2015)
Grid penalty brings further pain for Vettel (Sunday June 7 2015)
2015 - Canada - Qualifying (Sunday June 7 2015)
2015 - Canada - FP3 (Sunday June 7 2015)
Why customer cars are not against F1’s DNA (Saturday June 6 2015)
2015 - Canada - FP2 (Friday June 5 2015)
2015 - Canada - FP1 (Friday June 5 2015)
Verstappen under fire (Friday June 5 2015)
Manor Marussia sign Fabio Leimer (Thursday June 4 2015)
Blog: Montreal Preview (Wednesday June 3 2015)
Manor Marussia make key appointments (Wednesday June 3 2015)
Ferrari and Honda set for engine upgrades (Tuesday June 2 2015)
2015 Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 7 (Monday June 1 2015)
Who will in Canada? (Monday June 1 2015)
F1 seeks new team for 2016 and beyond (Friday May 29 2015)
Extra homework for Kimi (Friday May 29 2015)
Verstappen penalised for Monaco crash (Thursday May 28 2015)
HSE to take no action over de Villota crash (Wednesday May 27 2015)
Vital talking point - First points for McLaren (Wednesday May 27 2015)
Mature Hamilton attempts to deflect blame (Tuesday May 26 2015)
|7.||Push The Button||461|