The Australian Grand Prix season-opener takes
place on a street circuit at Albert Park, but a slightly unusual one. Rather
than being stop-and-go in nature like Monaco or Singapore, the track has a
more flowing rhythm that also takes in some reasonably quick corners.
Pirelli has nominated the C2, C3 and C4 compounds as the hard, medium and
soft choices respectively under this year’s simpler new tyre rules, with
only three colours – white, yellow and red – at each grand prix.
THE CIRCUIT FROM A TYRE POINT OF VIEW
- Being a street circuit, the track is particularly green and slippery at
the start of the weekend, with bumps adding to the lack of grip.
- There aren’t that many long corners, which means that it’s not always easy
to bring tyres up to temperature.
- A one-stop strategy was the winning choice last year – used by the
majority of drivers – and although we need to see degradation rates from
free practice, this is likely to be the case again.
- There’s a high likelihood of a safety car in Melbourne, which affects
strategy: one of the reasons why pole position isn’t as crucial in Australia
as it can be at other races. The pole position driver has only won once in
the last five years…
- Weather is often a mixed bag, helping to make Melbourne one of the more
unpredictable races of the year. Forecasts so far suggest it will be cloudy
- Good traction is key to a quick time, in order to get a good drive out of
the corners onto the many short straights that characterise the track.
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF CAR
“Our C2, C3, and C4 hard, medium and soft nominations this year are roughly
equivalent to the 2018 medium, soft and ultrasoft compounds. This should
allow drivers to push hard from the start to the finish of each stint. After
a very productive test in Barcelona, we feel satisfied that the 2019 tyre
range is on course to meet our objectives of combining performance with
durability. Of course, there are still a number of aspects – such as
degradation over the length of a stint – that will only be revealed after
free practice in Australia. One other important consideration in Australia
will be seeing how the new aero rules work, and if this leads to more
overtaking – which is difficult to establish during testing.”
OTHER PIRELLI NEWS
- - Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas tried a very different type of Pirelli
tyre over the winter, finishing fifth overall on the Arctic Rally in a Ford
- Melbourne will be the next venue for Pirelli’s P Zero World boutique,
which is scheduled to open later this year.
- Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is the only driver from the top three teams
(Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull) to have made a slightly different choice in
- As well as the new Formula 1 tyres, Pirelli has also been testing the
latest Formula 2 tyres in Jerez and Barcelona recently, with the first
Formula 3 test scheduled to take place in Paul Ricard after the Australian
- A fan festival will take place to launch the 2019 F1 season on the
Wednesday before the Australian Grand Prix in downtown Melbourne, with
Pirelli’s Mario Isola among the guest appearances.