Vital F1 | Pirelli surprises everyone, even themselves
Vital Login
Social Login

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's F1, It's Vital'

Pirelli surprises everyone, even themselves

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.”








Join Vital F1

It's easy to join up and join in on VitalF1.com, simply click the link and enjoy getting involved!

If you are already a member of Vital Football, your logins will automatically work on VitalF1.com!

The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday March 29 2011

Time: 12:00PM

Your Comments

Quite dissapointing that they were so well think everyone was looking forward to snap pit stops and people struggling, this could of made the race very different
craigk_uk
 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Vital F1 Articles

Renault bidding to match Mercedes (Thursday January 19 2017)

How long has Bottas joined Mercedes for? (Wednesday January 18 2017)

New optimism for McLaren (Wednesday January 18 2017)

Bottas announcement expected (Monday January 16 2017)

Australia prepares for 2017 F1 (Friday January 13 2017)

Paddy Lowe leaves Mercedes (Wednesday January 11 2017)

Pirelli uncertain over new 2017 tyres (Tuesday January 10 2017)

Toro Rosso to rebrand engines? (Thursday December 29 2016)

Williams pays tribute to Symonds (Wednesday December 28 2016)

Marko mocks Mercedes (Tuesday December 27 2016)

Merry Christmas from Vital F1 (Sunday December 25 2016)

Renault building for 2017 (Friday December 23 2016)

Honda wants to supply second team in 2018 (Thursday December 22 2016)

Gasly building bridges with Marko (Wednesday December 21 2016)

I'll take on anybody says Hamilton (Tuesday December 20 2016)

No room at the Red Bull Racing Inn (Friday December 16 2016)

Mercedes now regret Hamilton instruction (Thursday December 15 2016)

Mercedes to take no action on Hamilton (Wednesday December 14 2016)

Mercedes offer €10million for Bottas (Monday December 12 2016)

Formula One to return to France (Monday December 12 2016)

Vettel's future is clear (Wednesday December 7 2016)

Lauda annoyed by Rosberg retirement (Tuesday December 6 2016)

What next for Mercedes? (Friday December 2 2016)

Rosberg retires from F1 (Friday December 2 2016)

New contract for Italian Grand Prix (Friday December 2 2016)

Hamilton blames Mercedes for lost title (Thursday December 1 2016)

Hamilton receives team boss backing (Wednesday November 30 2016)

Hamilton's dirty tactics? (Tuesday November 29 2016)

Blog: Abu Dhabi GP Report (Monday November 28 2016)

2016 Abu Dhabi GP - Race (Sunday November 27 2016)

Blog: Abu Dhabi Qualifying (Saturday November 26 2016)

2016 Abu Dhabi GP - Qualifying (Saturday November 26 2016)

2016 Abu Dhabi GP - FP3 (Saturday November 26 2016)

2016 Abu Dhabi GP - FP2 (Friday November 25 2016)

2016 Abu Dhabi GP - FP1 (Friday November 25 2016)

Blog: Abu Dhabi Preview (Friday November 25 2016)

Vettel needs to learn (Thursday November 24 2016)

Hamilton plays down title chances (Wednesday November 23 2016)

Dennis betrayed by McLaren (Monday November 21 2016)

Max's memorable Motor race (Friday November 18 2016)

An extraordinary motor racing day (Thursday November 17 2016)

Who will win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix? (Wednesday November 16 2016)

All working out fine for Rosberg (Tuesday November 15 2016)

Hamilton living in the moment (Monday November 14 2016)

Blog: Brazilian GP Report (Monday November 14 2016)

2016 Brazil GP - Race (Sunday November 13 2016)

Blog: Interlagos Qualifying (Saturday November 12 2016)

2016 Brazil GP - Qualifying (Saturday November 12 2016)

2016 Brazil GP - FP3 (Saturday November 12 2016)

2016 Brazil GP - FP2 (Friday November 11 2016)

2016 Brazil GP - FP1 (Friday November 11 2016)

Renault stick with Palmer (Friday November 11 2016)

Haas make driver change (Friday November 11 2016)

How can Rosberg win the title? (Thursday November 10 2016)

Blog: Interlagos Preview (Wednesday November 9 2016)

Kvyat happy to survive 2016 (Friday November 4 2016)

18 year old to replace Massa at Williams (Thursday November 3 2016)

Ross Brawn to return to Formula One (Thursday November 3 2016)

Vettel avoids FIA action (Wednesday November 2 2016)

Blog: Mexican GP Report (Tuesday November 1 2016)

2016 Mexico GP - Race (Sunday October 30 2016)

Blog: Mexico City Qualifying (Sunday October 30 2016)

2016 Mexico GP - Qualifying (Saturday October 29 2016)

2016 Mexico GP - FP3 (Saturday October 29 2016)

2016 Mexico GP - FP2 (Friday October 28 2016)

2016 Mexico GP - FP1 (Friday October 28 2016)

Blog: Mexico City Preview (Thursday October 27 2016)

Who will win in Mexico? (Thursday October 27 2016)

Archived Vital F1 Articles

List All Vital F1 Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Red5 1106
2. DJ 1096
3. The Fear 773
4. Villaininthemerde 612
5. johnkelv 592
6. Druss_the_Legend 574
7. Push The Button 491
8. col8 334
9. The Intimidator 199
10. __villa__ 145

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Nico Rosberg a deserving champion?
Yes - The points say so 47%
No - He only won due to Hamilton's reliabilty issu 53%