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
Could F1 lose German Grand Prix? (Tuesday January 27 2015)
Chilton lines up potential Indy Car switch (Monday January 26 2015)
New engines attract new fans (Friday January 23 2015)
Hockenheim to host 2015 German Grand Prix (Thursday January 22 2015)
Vettel's big gamble at Ferrari (Wednesday January 21 2015)
Honda allowed to make in-season changes (Tuesday January 20 2015)
Qatar bid for F1 scuppered? (Monday January 19 2015)
Spain and Austria to host in-season tests (Friday January 16 2015)
F1 introduce new Super Licence points system (Thursday January 15 2015)
More aggressive tyre strategy in 2015 (Wednesday January 14 2015)
Newey questions if anyone can catch Mercedes (Tuesday January 13 2015)
FIA confirm new virtual safety car procedures (Monday January 12 2015)
Robson swaps McLaren for Williams (Friday January 9 2015)
2015 Formula One Calendar (Thursday January 8 2015)
All change at Sauber (Thursday January 8 2015)
F1 teams to exploit engine rule loophole (Wednesday January 7 2015)
Korea dropped for 2015 (Wednesday January 7 2015)
Caterham's administrators will not fund testing (Tuesday January 6 2015)
Podromou is McLaren's master (Friday January 2 2015)
Long recovery for Ferrari (Thursday January 1 2015)
Red Bull Racing retain Buemi (Wednesday December 31 2014)
Bianchi's neurological status remains unchanged (Wednesday December 31 2014)
Talks to save Caterham continue (Tuesday December 30 2014)
Engine freeze is against the spirit of the sport (Monday December 29 2014)
Vettel had a great run at Red Bull (Friday December 26 2014)
Hamilton reflects on Rosberg rivalry (Wednesday December 24 2014)
Vergne joins Ferrari (Tuesday December 23 2014)
Clear & Bell to swap Mercedes for Ferrari (Monday December 22 2014)
Trio depart Ferrari (Friday December 19 2014)
Ecclestone to propose v8 return (Thursday December 18 2014)
20 stolen Red Bull trophies recovered (Wednesday December 17 2014)
Gutierrez joins Ferrari (Tuesday December 16 2014)
Hamilton wins SPOTY (Monday December 15 2014)
Best option for the future is McLaren says Alonso (Friday December 12 2014)
Dennis does not anticipate any issues with Alonso (Friday December 12 2014)
McLaren confirm Alonso return (Thursday December 11 2014)
McLaren confirm Button on multi-year deal (Thursday December 11 2014)
Button stays at McLaren (Thursday December 11 2014)
Ricciardo surprised himself (Wednesday December 10 2014)
Red Bull factory ram-raided (Monday December 8 2014)
McLaren board meeting fails to decide (Friday December 5 2014)
Force India to use Toyata's wind tunnel (Friday December 5 2014)
2015 - Formula One's biggest season yet (Thursday December 4 2014)
FIA file report on Bianchi crash (Thursday December 4 2014)
Virtual Safety Car to get debut in 2015 (Wednesday December 3 2014)
Vettel completes first day at Ferrari (Tuesday December 2 2014)
Caterham could run old cars in 2015 (Tuesday December 2 2014)
Toro Rosso announce Sainz Jr for 2015 (Monday December 1 2014)
Williams announce Wolff as test driver (Monday December 1 2014)
Teams fail to agree on engine regulations (Friday November 28 2014)
Formula One scrap double points round (Friday November 28 2014)
Vergne announces Toro Rosso departure (again) (Thursday November 27 2014)
Problems for McLaren Honda continue (Thursday November 27 2014)
Successful season for Williams (Wednesday November 26 2014)
McLaren Honda manage 3 laps (Wednesday November 26 2014)
Caterham takeover complete 'in weeks' (Wednesday November 26 2014)
Ferrari announce third team principal of 2014 (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Audio: Abu Dhabi Recap (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Mercedes and Hamilton to re-open contract talks (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Alonso's new project will challenge Mercedes (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Force India confirm Perez place (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Wolff praises Mercedes team-mates (Monday November 24 2014)
Greatest day for Hamilton (Monday November 24 2014)
Rosberg wins friends in defeat (Monday November 24 2014)
Blog: Abu Dhabi GP Report (Sunday November 23 2014)
Lewis Hamilton - 2014 Formula One World Champion (Sunday November 23 2014)
2014 - Abu Dhabi - Race (Sunday November 23 2014)
Blog: Abu Dhabi Qualifying (Saturday November 22 2014)
Red Bull DQ'd from Abu Dhabi Qualifying (Saturday November 22 2014)
2014 - Abu Dhabi - Qualifying (Saturday November 22 2014)
2014 - Abu Dhabi - FP3 (Saturday November 22 2014)
2014 - Abu Dhabi - FP2 (Friday November 21 2014)
2014 - Abu Dhabi - FP1 (Friday November 21 2014)
Audio: Hamilton v Rosberg - The Decider (Friday November 21 2014)
Caterham receive helping hand from Bernie (Thursday November 20 2014)
Grosjean to remain with Lotus (Thursday November 20 2014)
Bianchi 'out of coma' (Wednesday November 19 2014)
McLaren delay line-up announcement (Wednesday November 19 2014)
Ecclestone to hold talks with teams (Wednesday November 19 2014)
Force India hands Palmer chance to impress (Wednesday November 19 2014)
Chilton to join Caterham? (Tuesday November 18 2014)
Carlos Sainz Jr to test for Red Bull (Tuesday November 18 2014)
Kobayashi retains seat for Abu Dhabi (Monday November 17 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 19 (Monday November 17 2014)
Who will win in Abu Dhabi? (Monday November 17 2014)
Caterham will return in Abu Dhabi (Friday November 14 2014)
Wolff plays down engine war fears (Friday November 14 2014)
Honda to debut new engine (Friday November 14 2014)
Ericsson terminates Caterham deal (Thursday November 13 2014)
Button not chasing big bucks (Wednesday November 12 2014)
Horner threatens engine war (Wednesday November 12 2014)
Alonso to sign £25million deal (Tuesday November 11 2014)
Crowd-fund project set to give Caterham reprieve (Tuesday November 11 2014)
Lowdon still fighting for former Marussia team (Tuesday November 11 2014)
F1 politics overshadow Brazilian Grand Prix (Monday November 10 2014)
Record setting day for Mercedes (Monday November 10 2014)
Hamilton reflective (Monday November 10 2014)
Fantastic weekend for Rosberg (Monday November 10 2014)
Blog: Brazilian GP Report (Monday November 10 2014)
2014 - Brazil - Race (Sunday November 9 2014)
|7.||Push The Button||441|