Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli believes a one-stop strategy is likely to be favoured by teams at the Australian Grand Prix, even though it suspects a two-stop is a quicker approach.
Pirelli has brought the C2 (Hard), C3 (Medium) and C4 (Soft) compounds to Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit, with either the Medium or Soft mandatory for one stint of the 58-lap Grand Prix.
All of the drivers starting in the top 10 will be using the Soft tyres for the opening stint, while the remaining drivers have free choice of starting compound.
Pirelli believes two 21-lap stints on Softs, followed by a 16-lap stint on Mediums, is the quickest approach, but that a one-stop approach is more likely.
This is because the delta between one- and two-stops is “very close” and stopping just once poses less of a risk, with Albert Park one of the most difficult circuits at which to overtake.
For a one-stop strategy Pirelli reckons a Soft/Medium approach, starting on lap 27, is best, while a Soft/Hard strategy, stopping on lap 24, is also viable.
It expects all three potential strategies to be very close and will be determined by the degradation teams encounter on the Soft tyres in race trim.
Sunday’s race day is expected to be the warmest of the weekend, peaking at 26°c during the period in which the Grand Prix will take place.