As expected, the renovated Albert Park circuit showed up green and slippery since the beginning of the weekend. The new untreated asphalt showed a high degree of track evolution as the rubber was deposited on the surface. Ferrari, leading in both free practice sessions, set the best time of the day in PL2 with Charles Leclerc, stopping the clock at 1: 18.978, using Soft tires.
The track conditions have generated a bit of graining with cars looking for grip in relatively low temperatures. The afternoon session of PL2 started with air temperatures of 21 degrees Celsius and track temperatures of 30 degrees. Although cloudy, there was no rain and conditions are likely to remain dry for the remainder of the weekend.
Two key elements all the teams focused on: learning the new circuit layout and evaluating the performance of the different compounds named, with one more step than usual between the Medium and Soft compound for this third round of the 2022. Up to now, the performance gap between Hard and Medium is around 0.8 seconds, with a similar difference between Medium and Soft as well. As the track progresses, this gap could further decrease in the next couple of days.
“It was an interesting day: we saw the cars in action on the new track layout for the first time and the teams were able to verify the gap between Medium and Soft given by the compound jump. So far this has turned out to be the right nomination for this weekend, given the gaps we found between the compounds today, so it is a choice that we could repeat in the future in other races. – he has declared Mario IslandCar Racing Manager of Pirelli – We noticed some graining on medium and in particular on Soft in both sessions. As this aspect directly affects degradation, managing it will be a key element in the race strategy, although we expect the teams to focus on the two hardest compounds, using the Softs for qualifying. Considering the high level of evolution of the track, we do not yet have a complete picture, so the final data we will get from the PL3 will also be important in terms of strategy ”.