Australian Grand Prix – Practice Sessions

March 13, 2015

The opening two practice sessions of the Australian Grand Prix began to answer some of the questions that had arisen during the winter, but the performance of the medium and soft P Zero tires at was exactly as expected.

The revisions to the structure of the rear tires for 2015 are designed to accommodate the needs of the latest generation of cars, which are even faster than last year. The fastest time in the first free practice session this year, which was run entirely on the medium compound, was more than two seconds faster than the equivalent time last year, with the fastest time in this year’s second free practice session, set by the soft tire, nearly two seconds faster as well. With just two sessions completed, the cars are already more than 1.6s faster than the best time of the entire Australian weekend last year.

Weather conditions for today’s two sessions started off cool but rose progressively; peaking at an ambient temperature of 23 degrees centigrade and 39 degrees track temperature in the afternoon. Slightly warmer conditions are expected for qualifying tomorrow.

Paul Hembery: “Today’s running clearly demonstrated the increase in performance that we had anticipated for the 2015 cars, with the improvement in lap times of about two seconds likely to rise up to three seconds as we go into FP3 and qualifying tomorrow. Both the medium and soft P Zero compounds performed well on the low-abrasion track surface here in Melbourne, and we saw no graining or blistering of any description. So far we have a performance gap of around 1.4 seconds between the compounds but this is set to evolve: we look forward to seeing the true performance of the 2015 cars throughout the rest of the weekend.”

FP1:                                                        FP2:         
1.Rosberg    1m29.557s    Medium new     1.Rosberg    1m27.697s    Soft new
2.Hamilton   1m29.586s    Medium new     2.Hamilton   1m27.797s    Soft new
3.Bottas       1m30.748s    Medium used    3.Vettel       1m28.412s    Soft new