Melbourne, March 15, 2019

WHAT WE LEARNED FROM FP1 AND FP2

  • The cars are faster than last year: the best time from Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in FP2 was more than 1.3 seconds faster than the equivalent time last year, despite the cars being heavier. There is a strong chance that we’ll see a new lap record in qualifying.
  • The margins seem close in the midfield, but – so far – there is a clearer gap at the top.
  • A high degree of track evolution took place throughout the two free practice sessions, as usual at Albert Park.
  • The tyres behaved as expected today with teams trying all three compounds in warm conditions (24 degrees ambient, 42 degrees on track in the afternoon).
  • Tyre performance is satisfactory: no issues of blistering or graining. The graining sometimes seen in Barcelona testing has disappeared in warmer weather, as expected.
  • Performance gap between medium and soft is currently around 0.9 seconds per lap (slightly more than expected) while between medium and hard it’s about 0.6 seconds.

MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING

“First and foremost, the events of this weekend are insignificant compared to the loss of Charlie Whiting yesterday, who leaves a massive void in the sport that is impossible to fill. Having worked so closely with him since we arrived in Formula 1, he will be greatly missed by all of us at Pirelli.

Tyre-wise, there were no big surprises from the first day of free practice this year, apart from a gap of nearly a second between soft and medium: a bit more than we expected. Judging by initial feedback from the teams, they seem happy with the overall performance of the tyres in these conditions, while for fans having only the hard, medium and soft names on track makes everything easier to understand. There’s still plenty to come from this weekend, with past experience showing us that the circuit continues to evolve.”

FREE PRACTICE 1 – TOP 3 TIMES

DRIVER TIME COMPOUND
Hamilton 1m23.599s SOFT C4 NEW
Vettel 1m23.637s SOFT C4 NEW
Leclerc 1m23.673s SOFT C4 NEW

FREE PRACTICE 2 – TOP 3 TIMES

DRIVER TIME COMPOUND
Hamilton 1m22.600s SOFT C4 NEW
Bottas 1m22.648s SOFT C4 NEW
Verstappen 1m23.400s SOFT C4 NEW

FP1 - BEST TIME BY COMPOUND

COMPOUND DRIVER TIME
HARD C2 Sainz 1m26.871s
MEDIUM C3 Bottas 1m24.679s
SOFT C4 Hamilton 1m23.599s

FP2 - BEST TIME BY COMPOUND

COMPOUND DRIVER TIME
HARD C2 Hulkenberg 1m25.071s
MEDIUM C3 Hamilton 1m23.148s
SOFT C4 Hamilton 1m22.600s

MOST LAPS BY COMPOUND SO FAR

COMPOUND DRIVER LAPS
HARD C2 Leclerc 23
MEDIUM C3 Albon 31
SOFT C4 Hulkenberg 25

TYRE STATISTICS OF THE DAY

Kms driven* 758 2147 3028
Sets used overall** 8 28 44

* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
** Per compound, all drivers combined.

MIN. STARTING PRESSURES (slicks) EOS CAMBER LIMIT
22.5 psi (front) | 19.5 psi (rear) -3.75° (front) | -2.00° (rear)

March 15, 2019