With Charles Leclerc on pole position for the 2022 Australian Grand Prix, the first to be held Down Under in three years, Albert Park’s revised layout is sure to throw up some surprises with a Safety Car not beyond the realms of possibility.
Most drivers will likely start on the medium compound before switching over to the hard tyres, with teams taking advantage of the new regulations which got rid of the requirement to start the race on the same compound used during Q2 in qualifying.
Under a one-stop strategy starting on the mediums, cars would likely begin to come into the pits between laps 17-27. With the revisions to the Albert Park Circuit leaving the door open to potential safety cars however, it could be possible to run a two-stop strategy if circumstances change during the race.
It was also noted that the smooth new asphalt, plus the revised location of some of the walls to the faster corners mean the potential of Safety Car is increased.
Unusual tyre compound choice
Pirelli motorsport director Mario Isola said that the expected warm and sunny weather in Melbourne tomorrow would make for ideal conditions to run a straightforward medium to hard one-stopper.
He also said that the teams’ running during qualifying justified the tyre manufacturer coming to Australia with their C2, C3, and C5 compounds, choosing not to offer a consecutive set of tyres for the first time since the Singapore GP in 2018.
“What we have seen so far in qualifying shows that it was the right choice to come here with two steps between the soft and the medium compounds, which has enabled the performance gaps between hard, medium and soft to be about equal,” Isola said.
“Tomorrow should be a one-stop strategy using medium and hard, but as we saw today [in qualifying], the action here can be quite unpredictable.”