by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 178
The action on track in Albert Park on Sunday afternoon was all part of Pirelli’s cunning plan, motorsport director Paul Hembery revealed. “We took the deliberately bold decision to come here with the supersoft tyre in order to spice up the action,” Hembery said. “We believe that this worked very well, with a variety of different two and three stop strategies just as we expected and seven different leaders. Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus understood the tyres perfectly, making a two-stop strategy work when many of their rivals couldn’t. It was a true masterclass in tyre management. “Although they were often in different places on the track, Raikkonen and Lotus were effectively racing Ferrari and Alonso throughout the second half of the race, who were on a three-stop ‘sprint’ strategy. Seeing how those different approaches played out at the end was the intriguing part of the strategy, which led to a spectacular finish and three very deser ving world champions on the podium. “It’s also worth pointing out that Raikkonen drove the fastest lap of the race on lap 56: the penultimate lap, on medium tyres that were 22 laps old,” the tyre boss concluded. But – largely depending on their finishing position – the drivers cited a variety of different experiences with the rubber, with Jenson Button finding that beyond a certain point, the tyres began to improve. “The tyres actually got better through the run,” the McLaren driver said, “as the graining cleaned. But that’s experience – we’d never seen that in testing, so we didn’t expect it. We had to pit very early and that meant I had to have three very long stints on the medium tyre and that was quite tricky.” Meanwhile, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner pointed to the tyres as the source of his team’s struggles on Sunday afternoon. “We just weren't in the optimum window with the tyres today, for whatever reason,” Horner said. “For the conditions and so on we were a bit out. That became fairly apparent from lap four or five, because Seb got a good start, he built up the lead that we wanted and then it was quite clear that the car was pretty heavy on the tyre. That forced us then to go down the route of a three-stop and, when you run into a bit of traffic as well, that puts more stress on the tyre.” Toro Rosso driver Daniel Ricciardo said after the race that his grip levels were so low that he felt it was like driving on ice. Which might explain why Ice Man – and race winner – Kimi Raikkonen had no trouble at all with the Pirelli rubber. “It was a pretty nice race and not too difficult,” the Lotus driver said from the top step of the podium. “[Two-stopping] was our plan before the race. I was confident the tyres would be okay – I have had a good car all weekend with no issues with the tyres so I thought it would be easy to do it." Slick and tyred F1 >>> AUSTRALIA 20 GPWEEK.com // 20 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: