2023 Australian Grand Prix - Preview
“More options for the race thanks to the compound choices in Melbourne”
“We’ve made the same tyre choice as we did back in 2019 for the Australian Grand Prix. Following a two-year absence from the calendar due to the Covid pandemic, we went for a gap in the nominated compounds last year: selecting the C2, C3 and then the softest C5 compound. That race was a one-stopper won by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with all the teams using the hard and the medium tyre, while the soft was just used for qualifying. This weekend, the teams will have the C2, C3, and C4 at their disposal, which means that they have more options for the race in terms of strategy: on paper at least. We’re expecting a high degree of track evolution throughout the weekend, as is normally the case in Melbourne, while the energy demands on the tyres are about average for the season. It’s a flowing track with corners that are faster following last year’s modifications, which benefit overtaking as well as the overall spectacle.”
THE TYRES ON TRACK
- The C2 is the P Zero White Hard, C3 the P Zero Yellow Medium and C4 the P Zero Red Soft for the Australian Grand Prix.
- The FIA has confirmed four DRS zones at Albert Park. So this year could feature the fastest top speeds ever seen in Melbourne, which in theory could reach 340kph.
- The Albert Park street circuit was resurfaced in 2022 with some metallic elements included in the aggregate, improving the grip from the tyres. The asphalt is smoother than other tracks on the championship, with peak grip only achieved after several sessions of on-track running.
- The energy demands on the tyres at the Australian Grand Prix are about average for the season, with contained levels of abrasion. The new layout inaugurated last year favours overtaking, especially in the second sector. A car setup biased towards traction can be particularly helpful on the exit of corners to increase the chance of a successful overtaking move on the circuit’s short straights.
- The Australian Grand Prix has traditionally opened the championship since it moved from Adelaide to Melbourne in 1996. This was the case until 2019, with the only exceptions being 2006 and 2010, when the first Grand Prix of the year took place in Bahrain. The 2020 and 2021 races were cancelled due to the Covid pandemic, before Melbourne returned to the championship last year as round three, after the two opening races in the Middle East.
- It’s a true home race for Oscar Piastri. The young McLaren driver was born in Melbourne, not far from Albert Park. Other Australian drivers to go before him in Formula 1 include Jack Brabham, Alan Jones, Tim Schenken, Mark Webber, and Daniel Ricciardo.
Campos Racing’s Ralph Boschung comes to Melbourne as championship leader – but the Swiss driver is closely followed by Théo Pourchaire (ART Grand Prix) and Jeddah Sprint Race winner Ayumu Iwasa (DAMS), with just three points covering the top three. Pirelli has nominated the P Zero Yellow medium and P Zero Red soft for Formula 2 in Australia. Both Formula 2 and Formula 3 are racing in Australia for the first time.
Trident’s Gabriel Bortoleto leads the standings on 26 points after the opening round in Sakhir, with the Brazilian heading his team mate Oliver Goethe by just three points. Trident consequently leads the teams’ championship ahead of Prema Racing. The F3 compound nominated for Melbourne is the P Zero White
The opening round of the 2023 Ferrari Challenge Europe, exclusively equipped by Pirelli, took place last weekend in Valencia. A total of 47 Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo cars and 2500 Pirelli tyres took to the Spanish track for the first round of the 31st edition of the one-make series. The next round will be at Misano from April 21-23. Other highlights of this year’s calendar include the Le Mans 24 Hours weekend, which celebrates its centenary this year, and the Ferrari Finals at Mugello.
Founded in 1872, Pirelli is a company with deep Italian roots now recognised all over the world for its cutting-edge technology, capacity for innovation, and the quality of its products. Motorsport has always played an important part in Pirelli’s strategy, following the ‘race to road’ philosophy. The company has been engaged in motorsport for 116 years and today supplies tyres to more than 350 championships on both two and four wheels. Pirelli pays constant attention to the most efficient use of natural resources and energy, aiming to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.
Pirelli has been Global Tyre Partner of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship since 2011. The company also supplies championships including FIA Formula 2, FIA Formula 3, Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, FIA World Rally Championship and GT World Challenge, alongside numerous national series.