Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembrey was one of the few people in Albert Park happy with the day's events as the drivers sampled all four tyre options available. The soft and medium dry compounds were used in the closing stages of each session while the new Cinturato Green intermediates were used along with the full wets as rain played a key role.
Jenson Button topped the timesheets in first practice while Michael Schumacher was quickest in FP2, both on the prime (medium) tyres, and Hembrey is expecting an exciting race due to the closeness in performance between the two dry compounds.
“With a very wide variety of mixed conditions today, we got to run all four types of tyre that we have brought here, and the teams were able to carry out some important work to establish crossover points. The weather is expected to remain dry for the rest of the weekend, so it's understandable that most drivers chose to concentrate on dry running.”
“But because there was so little dry track time, we will not see a completely accurate picture of relative performance emerge until tomorrow. We noted that the medium tyre was particularly well suited to the conditions today, and that the performance gap between the two compounds has significantly decreased but we've got plenty of data to analyse tonight before we can come up with any detailed times.”