Australian GP: Practice team notes - Pirelli


As expected, the re-worked Albert Park track was very ‘green' and slippery at the start of the weekend, with the cars sliding a lot on the untreated new asphalt and a high degree of track evolution as more rubber was laid onto the surface. Ferrari led the way in both sessions, with Charles Leclerc setting the best time of the day in FP2 using the P Zero Red soft: 1m18.978s.

The track conditions led to some graining as the cars struggled for grip in comparatively cool weather: the afternoon FP2 session got underway in ambient temperatures of 21 degrees centigrade and track temperatures of 30 degrees centigrade. Although it was cloudy, there was no rain - and it's likely to stay dry for the rest of the weekend.

Two key elements that all the teams focussed on today was learning the new layout of the circuit and assessing the performance of the different nominated compounds - with a bigger step than usual between the medium and soft compounds this weekend.

So far, the performance gap between the P Zero White hard tyre and the P Zero Yellow medium is in the region of 0.8 seconds, with a similar difference between the medium and the soft. With track evolution remaining high, that could still come down in the next two days.

Mario Isola: "Today was an interesting day as we saw the new track layout in action for the first time and also the teams trying out the bigger step in the compounds between medium and soft. This has turned out to be the right nomination this weekend so far, given the performance gaps we measured between the tyres today, so that's something we might do again at other races in future. We observed some graining on the medium and soft in particular during both sessions. As this obviously has a direct effect on degradation, managing it will be a key element to the race strategy; although we'd probably expect the teams to focus on the two harder compounds, using the soft for qualifying. With the track evolution here, we've not quite seen the full picture yet so the final data we get from FP3 tomorrow will also be important in terms of strategy."

Check out our Friday gallery from Melbourne, here.

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Published: 08/04/2022
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