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F1 teams facing "crucial compromise" after "courageous" Australian GP tyre choice

F1 teams facing "crucial compromise" after "courageous" Australian GP tyre choice

F1 News

F1 teams facing "crucial compromise" after "courageous" Australian GP tyre choice

F1 teams facing "crucial compromise" after "courageous" Australian GP tyre choice

Williams head of vehicle performance Dave Robson believes Pirelli's "courageous" choice of tyre compounds has created a "crucial compromise" for teams at the Australian Grand Prix.

F1 returns to Albert Park for the first time since 2019, with the Australian venue now boasting track changes in order to boost racing action.

To complement the alterations, tyre manufacturer Pirelli has opted for a conventional C2 and C3 tyre choice for the race-focused compounds, however, the softest tyre in its range in the C5 has also been selected.

Detailing the challenges for the teams ahead of this weekend's return to Melbourne, Robson explained: "With the removal of the old turns nine, 10, there is one fewer chicane in the layout.

"Nonetheless, changes of direction at low and high speed still dominate the circuit. Braking stability, kerb riding and car agility, therefore, remain critical to the car set-up.

"The much faster section between turn eight and turn 11 will alter the trade of downforce and drag, but with driver confidence also at a premium.

"Taking off too much downforce could be detrimental, and we can expect to see all teams experimenting on Friday."

Addressing Pirelli's tyre choices, Robson added: "Adding to the complexity of the weekend 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."

Australian GP venue 'potentially one of the very best' in F1

The two-year absence from Australia due to the Covid-19 pandemic will end when cars take to the track for the first practice session, providing the first taste of Albert Park's all-new layout.

The change to a high-speed middle sector will alter the challenges for drivers and teams but should provide more overtaking opportunities.

"Racing again in Melbourne is a fantastic indication of a progressive return to pre-pandemic normality," said Robson.

"Not being at Albert Park for two years has been a real shame and we are so pleased to be back and sampling the new circuit layout.

"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."

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