Tyre selections for Australian Grand Prix revealed
Formula 1 teams have loaded up on Pirelli’s Ultrasoft tyres for the season-opening event of the year in Australia next weekend.
Pirelli has expanded its dry-weather tyre range from five to seven compounds, with the introduction of a Hypersoft and back-up Superhard option for 2018.
The existing compounds have also been moved a step softer compared to their 2017 counterparts, amid a proliferation of one-stop races.
For Australia, Pirelli has nominated the Ultrasoft, Supersoft and Soft tyres, with teams allowed to choose 10 of their 13 allocated sets, as per the 2017 regulations.
Teams have selected either seven, eight or nine sets of the Ultrasoft compound in order to cope with the demands of Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.
Mercedes has been among the most aggressive, choosing nine Ultrasofts, while Red Bull has gone with eight, and Ferrari seven.
Most teams will have two or three sets of the Supersofts available, with Renault’s duo and Haas’ Romain Grosjean the anomalies, having selected four.
As for the Soft tyres, reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton – along with Grosjean and Williams debutant Sergey Sirotkin – will have just one set available, which is the batch allocated by Pirelli.
The remaining drivers have two sets of Softs, aside from the conservative Ferrari pair and Sauber’s Charles Leclerc, who will have three sets of the yellow-banded compound.