A close field and changeable weather conditions mean strategy could well play a big part in the outcome of the 2023 Australian GP, with Pirelli revealing the optimal pit stop strategy for the race.
Conditions at the Albert Park Circuit have tightened up the F1 field somewhat with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton getting a spectacular performance out of their Mercedes car to finish just behind the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.
With two Mercedes cars against one Red Bull, can the Silver Arrows optimise their strategy to take a surprise victory in Australia? Or will the Red Bull with Verstappen behind the wheel be too much for the resurgent Mercedes pair?
Pirelli strategy for Australia
After trawling through the data from the practice sessions and qualifying, Pirelli believe a one stop strategy is the best for the 2023 Australian GP. Medium tyres to hards is deemed to be the fastest way round Albert Park, with softs to hards only slightly slower.
“From what we have seen over the two days so far, the three available compounds are performing as we expected,” Pirelli head of motorsport Mario Isola said in a statement.
“Both the soft and the medium showed a little bit of graining on a track that still isn’t rubbered in, with low temperatures, while the hard demonstrated itself to be very consistent and not so far from the other two compounds in terms of performance.
“A one-stopper remains the optimal strategy, with medium-hard being theoretically fastest and soft-hard slightly slower.”
Weather and temperature
Another variable in utilising the best strategy will be the weather and track temperature as teams were finding it difficult to get the tyres into the ideal operating temperature, due to the cool nature of the Melbourne track.
That led to many doing two or even three runs on the same set of tyres in qualifying in order to get the rubber up to temperature. So whoever can switch their tyres on fastest will gain a huge advantage.