Pirelli's new tyres hit back at criticism of terrible degradation and fears of four or five stops with a strong display in the Australian Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel won in a time three minutes quicker than 12 months ago and only made two stops. Whilst some drivers felt the need for a third stop, eleven out of the 16 finishers went with a two stop strategy.
And the stand out performer on the new PZero's was rookie Sergio Perez, who before a disqualification by the FIA stewards for a technical irregularity, had finished in seventh and only made one stop.
The tyres showed durability with teams able to run on the softer option for two stints at the start and finishing on the harder compound.
A far cry from the concerns surrounding the tyres, the teams had praise for the Pirelli tyres once they had got to grips with them, with race winner Vettel singling them out in a post-race interview.
Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery was pleased with the race and that three different teams made up the podium but more delighted with how the tyres had stood up to the rigours of a race distance.
He said: “At the end of it we have three drivers from different teams standing on the podium, all of whom performed outstandingly.”
“I think that the same can be said of our tyres too: we had no issues whatsoever and the degradation was less than expected meaning that most drivers – including the top three – chose a two-stop strategy, as we had predicted.”
“We also saw a wide spread of strategies ranging from one stops to three, giving the teams the opportunity to think creatively about their race management.”
“I'd like to thank all the teams and drivers for their support as we built up to our race debut and we hope that the action today has rewarded their faith in us.”