Formula 1’s new era began with Friday’s two free practice sessions on a ‘green’ track at Albert Park, so lap times are expected to improve further over the course of the weekend.

Already, the fastest time in FP2 is quicker than last year’s pole, with Lewis Hamilton going fastest for Mercedes in both sessions today on the P Zero Purple ultrasoft tyre. Mercedes was the only team to use the ultrasoft in FP1, with the other teams trying it for the first time in FP2. The weather remained dry and warm for both sessions, with FP2 getting underway in ambient temperatures of 25 degrees centigrade. 

Mario Isola - Head Of Car Racing
“We saw times today that were around five seconds faster than the equivalent sessions last year, using the ultrasoft for the first time here. So far, there is a performance difference of around 0.7 seconds per lap between the soft and supersoft, as well as the supersoft and ultrasoft. During the Barcelona test, that gap was in the region of 0.3 -0.5 seconds. Now we need to look at degradation: it’s obviously much lower than last year, but along with the teams we have to see to what extent the difference between the compounds here will influence race strategy.”