Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg stormed to victory at Formula One’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix using a two pit stop strategy as predicted by Pirelli tyres.
The two other podium finishers, Red Bull racer Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen also adopted the soft-soft medium strategy chosen by race winner Rosberg.
Pirelli also revealed that the ‘marbles’ and blistering phenomenon have been greatly reduced, along with graining. In fact this was seen only on the front-left tyres of a few cars, including race-winner Rosberg’s.
As well as car set-up, graining – a phenomenon that has always been present in Formula One – is caused by low temperatures. The Australian Grand Prix did not exceed the air temperature of 20 degrees and track temperature of 27 degrees centigrade seen at the 5pm start, with conditions progressively cooling down as the race went on. Nonetheless, according to Pirelli, all the tyres performed strongly from start to finish, in line with expectations before the start of the grand prix.
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli tyres, said: “In Melbourne, we’ve been very pleased with the performance of our tyres in the first race of a new era of Formula One. While the drop in temperature caused some previously unseen light graining issues on some cars’ front-left tyres, it was not particularly severe and did not really affect the stint length. In most cases, it disappeared as the laps went on.
“The medium tyre, used largely at the end of the race, covered practically half the total distance for many drivers and performed in a very consistent manner. The teams of course all have the same challenge and we are still at the very outset of the season, where engineers work to maximise the chassis and tyre performance package.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office