2016 Australian Grand Prix – Qualifying

NEW ERA OF QUALIFYING IN MELBOURNE:
POLE TIME 2.5 SECONDS FASTER THAN 2015

RACE STRATEGY DIFFICULT TO PREDICT FOLLOWING
LIMITED SLICK RUNNING DUE TO CHANGEABLE WEATHER

Melbourne, March 19, 2016 – A new era of qualifying began today in Melbourne, with drivers being eliminated one-by-one. The new format gave everybody plenty to get used to, as drivers and teams worked out the best compromise between setting a quick time and managing the tyre allocation in order to maximise opportunities for the race. Lewis Hamilton’s pole position time for Mercedes (the 50th of his career) was close to 2.5 seconds quicker than his pole last year and three-tenths off the pole record: a clear indication of the performance increase from the latest-generation cars.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “More so than ever, today was all about learning and thinking on your feet. The teams headed into a brand new qualifying format with relatively little tyre data, as a result of the rain that limited running yesterday. More detailed work was done in the dry conditions of FP3 today, with some drivers only trying the supersoft compound for the first time. When it came to qualifying, the aim of the game hasn’t fundamentally changed: it’s still to get through the session using as few sets of tyres as possible. However, we already saw a number of different ways of achieving that goal, which will make for some interesting strategies tomorrow: especially for those outside the top eight, who will have a free choice of starting tyres.”

How the tyres behaved today:
Medium Not used that much so far this weekend. It is one of the two mandatory sets in the race together with the soft.
Soft The favoured race tyre: will generally be chosen for the longest stints tomorrow. Around 1.2s faster per lap than the medium*
Supersoft The only tyre used in qualifying, around 0.7s faster per lap than the soft*
*Data to be confirmed after full analysis

Race strategy: The rain and limited running yesterday, as well as a brand new set of tyre regulations, mean that race strategy is hard to predict. More information will follow after full data analysis.

F 3 – TOP 3 TIMES

1.HAM – Mercedes   1m25.624s   Super Soft – New
2.ROS – Mercedes   1m25.800s   Super Soft – New
3.VET – Ferrari   1m25.852s   Super Soft – New

QUALIFYING TOP 8

1   Hamilton   01m23.837s   Supersoft new
2   Rosberg   01m24.197s   Supersoft new
3   Vettel   01m24.675s   Supersoft new
4   Raikkonen   01m25.033s   Supersoft new
5   Verstappen   01m25.434s   Supersoft new
6   Massa   01m25.458s   Supersoft new
7  Sainz   01m25.582s   Supersoft new
8  Ricciardo   01m25.589s   Supersoft new

LONGEST STINTS SOFAR

SOFT   Verstappen   17 laps
SOFT   Sainz J   17
SUPERSOFT   Ericsson   15
SUPERSOFT   Nasr   15
SUPERSOFT   Massa   15
SUPERSOFT   Bottas   15
INTERMEDIATE   Wehrlein   13
MEDIUM**   Haryanto   5

**Nearly unused sofar

BEST TIME BY COMPOUND SOFAR

MEDIUM   Ricciardo   1m32.394s
INTERMEDIATE   Hamilton   1m38.841s
SOFT   Rosberg   1m26.149s
SUPERSOFT   Hamilton   1m23.837s