Teams go soft for Melbourne


As Pirelli reveals the various tyre sets drivers will be using in Melbourne for the season opener, Renault leads the way in taking ten sets of the softest compound available, the C4.

While the same three colours - red, yellow and white - will be used at every race this year, the actual compound will vary from circuit to circuit, and in the case of the season opener the softest compound on offer (red) will be the C4 from Pirelli's 2019 range.

Medium (yellow) will be the C3 that proved so popular in Spain, Max Verstappen and Red Bull teammate Pierre Gasly rarely using anything else, while the hardest tyre on offer (white) will be the C2.

Renault takes ten sets of the soft, while Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull take nine, as do Haas, McLaren, Alfa Romeo and Toro Rosso. Racing Point and Williams, the two teams that completed the least mileage in testing, take 8 sets.

George Russell takes four sets on the mediums, while the majority take two or three sets, the Mercedes pair, Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo, Haas, Kimi Raikkonen, Toro Rosso and Russell taking just one set of the hard tyres.

Being a semi-permanent street circuit that's not used extensively during the year, the Albert Park track can be particularly 'green' and slippery at the start of the race weekend.

Comprising short to medium straights, and low to medium speed corners, traction is key in order to get a good drive out of the many corners onto the short straights.

Wear and degradation is generally quite low, last year's race seeing the top eleven finishers on a one-stop strategy, with all three podium finishers - Vettel, Hamilton and Raikkonen - starting on ultrasofts and subsequently switching to softs.

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Published: 06/03/2019
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