The outcome of the Australian Grand Prix hung on Ferrari’s decision not to put fresh tyres on either of their cars when the race was suspended.
Mercedes did take advantage of the opportunity and their call to put Nico Rosberg on the medium compound tyres arguably won him the race while Ferrari’s decision not to change Sebastian Vettel’s five-lap-old super-softs cost him victory. However Ferrari were not the only team unwilling to commit to the hardest tyres available – a compound which had seen little action in practice.
Of the 16 other drivers running at this point five were already on mediums and six more switched to them. But four put on softs and Jenson Button, uniquely, opted for a new set of super-softs.
Vettel’s lap 13 pit stop was the quickest of the race. Significantly two of the next three fastest tyre change times were achieved by Williams, who often struggled to achieve competitive pit stops last year. It seems the Grove mechanics have been working hard on their pit stop drills over the winter.
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2016 Australian Grand Prix tyre strategies
The tyre strategies for each driver:
|Stint 1||Stint 2||Stint 3||Stint 4|
|Nico Rosberg||Super soft (12)||Soft (6)||Medium (39)|
|Lewis Hamilton||Super soft (16)||Medium (41)|
|Sebastian Vettel||Super soft (13)||Super soft (22)||Soft (22)|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Super soft (12)||Super soft (6)||Soft (24)||Super soft (15)|
|Felipe Massa||Super soft (11)||Soft (7)||Medium (39)|
|Romain Grosjean||Soft (18)||Medium (39)|
|Nico Hulkenberg||Soft (16)||Medium (41)|
|Valtteri Bottas||Soft (17)||Medium (40)|
|Carlos Sainz Jnr||Super soft (8)||Soft (10)||Soft (13)||Medium (26)|
|Max Verstappen||Super soft (13)||Soft (5)||Soft (14)||Medium (25)|
|Jolyon Palmer||Super soft (12)||Soft (6)||Medium (39)|
|Kevin Magnussen||Super soft (1)||Soft (17)||Medium (39)|
|Sergio Perez||Soft (16)||Medium (41)|
|Jenson Button||Soft (15)||Soft (3)||Super soft (12)||Medium (26)|
|Felipe Nasr||Super soft (10)||Soft (8)||Medium (38)|
|Pascal Wehrlein||Super soft (11)||Soft (7)||Soft (14)||Medium (24)|
|Marcus Ericsson||Super soft (11)||Soft (7)||Medium (20)|
|Kimi Raikkonen||Super soft (16)||Super soft (5)|
|Rio Haryanto||Super soft (12)||Soft (5)|
|Esteban Gutierrez||Soft (16)|
|Fernando Alonso||Super soft (12)||Soft (4)|
2016 Australian Grand Prix pit stop times
How long each driver’s pit stops took:
|Driver||Team||Pit stop time||Gap||On lap|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||21.981||0.642||42|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||22.167||0.828||16|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||22.245||0.906||12|
|11||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||22.303||0.964||13|
|13||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Toro Rosso||22.392||1.053||31|
|14||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Toro Rosso||22.414||1.075||8|
|22||Sergio Perez||Force India||24.719||3.380||16|
|25||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||29.066||7.727||32|
NB. Pascal Wehrlein, Felipe Nasr, Jenson Button, Marcus Ericsson, Jolyon Palmer, Nico Rosberg, Max Verstappen, Romain Grosjean, Felipe Massa, Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz Jnr all changed tyres when the race was suspended on lap 18.
Update: The data initially issued after the race indicated Magnussen had put medium tyres on at his first pit stop, rather than softs. The article has been revised accordingly.
2016 Australian Grand Prix
- Elimination qualifying officially replaced by 2015 format
- Halo would have been “welcome” in crash – Alonso
- Alonso takes new power unit after crash
- Third Driver of the Weekend win for Grosjean
- F1 enjoys best season-opening race since 2009