2024 Australian Grand Prix: Sunday Tyre Analysis

2024 Australian Grand Prix: Sunday Tyre Analysis
2024 Australian Grand Prix: Sunday Tyre Analysis

2024 Australian Grand Prix: Sunday Tyre Analysis – The third round of the season ended with a one-two finish for Ferrari, Carlos Sainz claiming his first win since Singapore last September, while Charles Leclerc, thanks in part to the extra point for the race fastest lap, is second in the Drivers’ classification on 47 points. Ahead of him on 51 is Max Verstappen, despite the fact the Dutchman posted his first retirement after 44 consecutive points finishes, the last non-finish for him being here in Melbourne back in 2022. Third in the standings with 46 points is his team-mate Sergio Perez, fifth today, followed by today’s winner on 40.

It was the Spaniard’s third win and his twentieth podium finish, while for his Ferrari team it was win 244 and its 86th one-two. It was also the second for the Sainz-Leclerc pairing, the first coming at the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix when they took the chequered flag in the reverse order.

All three compounds chosen by Pirelli for this Grand Prix were in use on the starting grid: 14 drivers went for the Medium, three (Hamilton, Ricciardo and Zhou) opted for the Soft and two (Alonso and Hulkenberg) the Hard. As predicted the most popular strategy was the two-stop, running Medium-Hard-Hard. Ocon was the only driver to make three stops but that was forced on him by the need to make a very early first pit stop to remove a visor tear-off from a brake duct.

After making the briefest of appearances in FP3, only for scrubbing-in purposes, the C3 was the most popular choice today, used for almost 80% of the race distance by the 19 drivers on track with this compound. Graining continued to be an important factor and, as expected, this phenomenon did not diminish even though it was much hotter than in previous days and on a track that got increasingly rubbered-in. Significant graining was also evident on the Hard which was never used on the first two days, but nevertheless it was manageable. In terms of stint length, George Russell’s second stint ran to 37 laps on the C3 and Fernando Alonso did 24 on the C4.

Mario Isola – Pirelli Director Of Motorsport

“First of all, congratulations to Carlos Sainz and everyone at Ferrari for this one-two which once again demonstrated that in such a competitive sport, where technology is pushed to the limit, one can never take anything for granted. I’ve got nothing against Max and Red Bull, but clearly a new name on the list of winners, after two years of almost total dominance is good for Formula 1 as a whole, as is the fact that the top four drivers in the classification are covered by just eleven points.

As for the race, it showed that our decision to bring a trio of softer compounds here compared to last year was the right one. Today’s race was busier compared to recent years, with tyre management making the difference. For example, one of the keys to Sainz’s success was the ability to lengthen the first stint on the Mediums, which then gave him the edge over his closest pursuers, as the two sets of Hards he used in the second and third stints were fresher. Yes, Carlos was able to drive a good part of his first stint with a clear track ahead of him, while his team-mate for example was in traffic, sandwiched between the two McLarens. All the same, Leclerc managed to overtake Norris precisely because he had stopped first and was able to better exploit the performance of new Hard tyres in the opening laps of his second stint.

In general, graining was the leitmotif of the weekend, but it was not problematic in terms of tyre performance and in the end, those who did the better job of managing them had the upper hand.”

2024 Australian Grand Prix: Sunday Tyre Analysis

2024 Australian Grand Prix: Sunday Tyre Analysis - Longest Stint
2024 Australian Grand Prix: Sunday Tyre Analysis - Pit Stops

Formula 2

Isaak Hadjar got his revenge in the Melbourne Feature Race. The Frenchman was stripped of the win in yesterday’s Sprint with a post-race penalty but the Campos Racing driver fought back in the longer race, profiting from making the obligatory pit-stop under the VSC caused when Hauger went off track, before the race was actually neutralised. That left Hadjar on track as the first driver who had started on the Supersoft and so he found himself leading when those who had started on the Medium had to pit to change tyres. Alongside him on the podium in second place, the Estonian Paul Aron (Hitech), and Zane Maloney (Rodin) third. The Barbadian still leads the championship on 62 points, 14 points ahead of Aron and 21 in front of Norway’s Dennis Hauger (Prema).

As predicted, the majority of drivers opted to start on the Supersoft for just a handful of laps, given its high degradation level, before switching to the Medium. While the VSC in the early stages helped those on the Medium, the race being neutralised at half-distance pretty much ruined their strategy, because at that point it was too early to pit and the advantage they had built up was wiped out.

Formula 3

Dino Beganovic (Prema) took his maiden Formula 3 victory in the second race in Melbourne. The Swedish Scuderia Ferrari Driver Academy driver started from third on the grid and came out on top at the end of an unpredictable race, getting the better of the Italian duo of Leonardo Fornaroli (Trident) e Gabriele Minì (Prema), who had both started from the front row. The other contender fighting at the front was the British driver Luke Browning (Hitech) who came home fourth, enough to maintain the lead in the Drivers’ standings, even though he has the same number of points – 37 – as Fornaroli.

On the tyre front, the cool conditions in Melbourne this morning definitely didn’t help with warm-up. Managing degradation was slightly easier than in Saturday’s race, given that graining appeared two to three laps later and did not increase over the race distance. Again, compared to the first race, the grip level was slightly better.

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