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
Ericsson and Perez ok after crashes (Wednesday July 30 2014)
Vettel rumours are bull**** says Lauda (Tuesday July 29 2014)
Blog: Hungarian GP Report (Tuesday July 29 2014)
Mercedes will learn from team-orders row (Tuesday July 29 2014)
Lauda backing for Hamilton (Monday July 28 2014)
Ricciardo takes second victory of the season (Monday July 28 2014)
2014 - Hungary - Race (Sunday July 27 2014)
Blog: Hungaroing Qualifying (Sunday July 27 2014)
2014 - Hungary - Qualifying (Saturday July 26 2014)
2014 - Hungary - FP3 (Saturday July 26 2014)
2014 - Hungary - FP2 (Friday July 25 2014)
Formula One to visit Azerbaijan in 2016 (Friday July 25 2014)
2014 - Hungary - FP1 (Friday July 25 2014)
Vettel would consider leaving Red Bull (Friday July 25 2014)
Hamilton keen on new Mercedes deal (Friday July 25 2014)
Could F1 pull Russian Grand Prix? (Thursday July 24 2014)
F1 return to Mexico confirmed (Thursday July 24 2014)
McLaren and Mercedes target Vettel (Thursday July 24 2014)
FIA set interesting precedent says Horner (Wednesday July 23 2014)
Wolff predicts Abu Dhabi showdown (Wednesday July 23 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 11 (Tuesday July 22 2014)
Who will win in Hungary? (Tuesday July 22 2014)
Blog: German GP Report (Tuesday July 22 2014)
Accident wasn't scary from cockpit says Massa (Monday July 21 2014)
Alonso loved Ricciardo tussle (Monday July 21 2014)
Button backtracks (Monday July 21 2014)
What a week for Rosberg (Monday July 21 2014)
2014 - Germany - Race (Sunday July 20 2014)
Blog: Hockenheim Qualifying (Sunday July 20 2014)
Hamilton bruised but ok following shunt (Saturday July 19 2014)
2014 - Germany - Qualifying (Saturday July 19 2014)
2014 - Germany - FP3 (Saturday July 19 2014)
2014 - Germany - FP2 (Friday July 18 2014)
Wolff enjoys fantastic practice session (Friday July 18 2014)
2014 - Germany - FP1 (Friday July 18 2014)
Mercedes play down FRIC ban (Friday July 18 2014)
Rosberg plays down importance of next race (Friday July 18 2014)
Possible change to unsafe release penalties (Thursday July 17 2014)
Video: Rosberg signs Mercedes extension (Thursday July 17 2014)
F1 title chase starts now (Wednesday July 16 2014)
Oh FRIC, teams fail to find agreement (Wednesday July 16 2014)
Force India confident for good German performance (Tuesday July 15 2014)
McLaren confident in upgrades (Tuesday July 15 2014)
Schumacher's health 'slowly improving' says wife (Monday July 14 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 10 (Monday July 14 2014)
Who will win the German Grand Prix (Monday July 14 2014)
Red Bull have failed to close the gap (Friday July 11 2014)
Bianchi impresses for Ferrari (Thursday July 10 2014)
Blog: What a difference a day makes (Thursday July 10 2014)
F1 teams could face suspension systems ban (Wednesday July 9 2014)
Massa quickest at Silverstone test (Wednesday July 9 2014)
Rosberg plays down Hamilton row (Wednesday July 9 2014)
Bottas finish surprises Williams (Tuesday July 8 2014)
I'm at the top of my game says Button (Tuesday July 8 2014)
I was lucky says Chilton (Monday July 7 2014)
Raikkonen ok after horror smash (Monday July 7 2014)
Rosberg reflects (Monday July 7 2014)
Perfect day for Hamilton (Monday July 7 2014)
2014 - Britain - Race (Sunday July 6 2014)
Blog: Silverstone Qualifying (Sunday July 6 2014)
2014 - Britain - Qualifying (Saturday July 5 2014)
2014 - Britain - FP3 (Saturday July 5 2014)
2014 - Britain - FP2 (Friday July 4 2014)
2014 - Britain - FP1 (Friday July 4 2014)
Button hits back at Dennis (Friday July 4 2014)
Video: Hamilton hoping for home glory (Thursday July 3 2014)
Pirelli boss defends F1 2014 tyres (Thursday July 3 2014)
Caterham sold (Thursday July 3 2014)
Beating Vettel gives Ricciardo confidence (Wednesday July 2 2014)
McLaren boss critical of Button (Wednesday July 2 2014)
Bernie wants three car teams (Wednesday July 2 2014)
Kobayashi ignores Caterham rumours (Tuesday July 1 2014)
Blog: Silverstone Memories (Tuesday July 1 2014)
Renault progress limited until end of the year (Monday June 30 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 9 (Monday June 30 2014)
Who will win the British Grand Prix? (Monday June 30 2014)
F1 drivers speak out on rule change (Friday June 27 2014)
Ugly noses banned from F1 (Friday June 27 2014)
Standing restarts approved for F1 2015 (Friday June 27 2014)
Ecclestone slams poor teams (Thursday June 26 2014)
McLaren make Hamilton & Alonso approaches? (Thursday June 26 2014)
Standing restarts proposed (Wednesday June 25 2014)
Video: Schumacher medical data stolen (Wednesday June 25 2014)
Red Bull boss slams Renault again (Tuesday June 24 2014)
Williams maximised result in Austria (Tuesday June 24 2014)
Damage limitation for Hamilton (Monday June 23 2014)
Rosberg pleased with increased points lead (Monday June 23 2014)
2014 - Austria - Race (Sunday June 22 2014)
Blog: Austrian GP Report (Sunday June 22 2014)
Blog: Red Bull Ring Qualifying (Sunday June 22 2014)
2014 - Austria - Qualifying (Sunday June 22 2014)
2014 - Austria - FP3 (Saturday June 21 2014)
2014 - Austria - FP2 (Friday June 20 2014)
2014 - Austria - FP1 (Friday June 20 2014)
Force India challenge Perez penalty (Friday June 20 2014)
Red Bull challenge (Thursday June 19 2014)
Does Rosberg hold psychological edge? (Thursday June 19 2014)
F1 strategy meeting to be held (Wednesday June 18 2014)
Austria could suit Lotus (Tuesday June 17 2014)
Red Bull are not a one man team (Tuesday June 17 2014)
|7.||Push The Button||432|