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 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


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


SOFT Verstappen 17 laps
SOFT Sainz J 17
SUPERSOFT Ericsson 15
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

For more information: please visit our all-new website, which is regularly updated with exclusive in-depth features, news and reviews. To find out more, please visit: http://racing.pirelli.com/global/en-ww/melbourne-2016-qualifying