F1’s official tire supplier Pirelli is bringing an unconventional choice of tire compounds to the Australian GP this weekend. Williams' head of vehicle performance, Dave Robson, believes that this is a “courageous” choice that could lead to “interesting results”.
The Italian manufacturer has nominated the softest C5 tires, along with the second and third-hardest C2 and C3 compounds respectively in its range for the Melbourne track. Speaking to GPFans ahead of the Australian GP weekend, Robson said:
“[It] is a courageous compound choice from Pirelli, with the C2 and C3 compounds being the prime and option as they were in Jeddah, but C5 being the qualifying compound in Melbourne. This may place significantly different demands on the car set-up for qualifying and the race, but with no opportunity to change the set-up on Saturday night, this compromise could be crucial.”
Pirelli’s choice is unconventional, especially compared to previous seasons when the tire manufacturer usually nominated compounds that were closer in terms of performance and durability.
The huge difference in characteristics between the C5 and the other two harder compounds means the former will only be used during qualifying and potentially during the early part of the race. Race strategies, however, would be based around the much harder C2 and C3 tires, which last much longer. This means fans can expect another race in Australia, with drivers pushing flat out after the initial set of pit stops.
Albert Park “one of the very best” circuits in F1 after modifications: Robson
Dave Robson believes the newly revamped Albert Park circuit could potentially turn out to be one of the very best circuits on the F1 calendar. Changes to the layout of the circuit, especially the revised DRS zones, should help increase overtaking opportunities, according to Robson. Speaking to GPFans, he said:
“Traditionally, the street circuit nature of Melbourne has made for a fantastic technical and physical challenge for the drivers, but also led to difficulty in overtaking. The revisions to the layout and DRS zones [there are now four] should improve this, potentially making it one of the very best circuits on the Formula 1 calendar.”
Albert Park is returning to the F1 calendar after a two-year-long absence due to the pandemic. The semi-permanent facility was upgraded and extensively reworked ahead of the race to improve on-track racing.