The Australian Grand Prix looked to be a simple one-stop race right up until about ten minutes before the start. It was then that the light rainfall became heavier and the teams switched their cars to the intermediate tyre. With a wet weather compound in use, the otherwise mandatory route of using both dry weather tyres is ignored and the teams were left with either continuing with the intermediate, switching to full wet or running their preferred dry compound. The rain soon stopped and the drivers changed to the soft compound.
It was Jenson Button who blinked first, making the call to change to the dry tyres after he complained of having no balance on the intermediates. Interestingly, previous seasons have shown us how good the intermediate tyre is, being able to run in quite wet conditions through to an almost dry track. However, teams have been complaining of shot-inters after a handful of laps in the second free practice session on Friday.
As soon as Button started to set purple sector times, the field flooded into the pits to change their boots and from that point onwards, it was a case of nursing the tyres to see how far the drivers could take them. Button managed his rubber well and drove the majority of the race on the soft compound. Conversely, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing suffered less-good tyre control and struggled in the final few laps.
The race was still a predominantly one-stopper, but with the many incidents on-track, some drivers were forced to call in to their teams for cosmetic fixes as well. Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber each made three stops, the extra visit for a new nose and front wing. Surprisingly, both managed to get the cars home in the points, albeit in the final two paying positions.
|Jenson Button McLaren||Intermediate||Soft (6)|
|Lewis Hamilton McLaren||Intermediate||Soft (8)||Soft (34)|
|Michael Schumacher Mercedes||Intermediate||Intermediate (1)||Soft (8)||Soft (29)|
|Nico Rosberg Mercedes||Intermediate||Soft (8)||Soft (33)|
|Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing||Intermediate||Soft (9)||DNF (25)|
|Mark Webber Red Bull Racing||Intermediate||Soft (10)||Soft (32)||Soft (56)|
|Felipe Massa Ferrari||Intermediate||Soft (8)|
|Fernando Alonso Ferrari||Intermediate||Soft (8)|
|Rubens Barrichello Williams||Intermediate||Soft (8)||Soft (31)|
|Nico Hulkenberg Williams||Intermediate||DNF (1)|
|Robert Kubica Renault||Intermediate||Soft (8)|
|Vitaly Petrov Renault||Intermediate||Soft (8)||DNF (9)|
|Adrian Sutil Force India||Intermediate||DNF (9)|
|Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India||Intermediate||Soft (9)|
|Sebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso||Intermediate||DNF (1)|
|Jaime Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso||Intermediate||Soft (9)|
|Jarno Trulli Lotus||Intermediate||DNF (1)|
|Heikki Kovalainen Lotus||Intermediate||Soft (8)|
|Karun Chandhok Hispania Racing||Intermediate||Soft (8)||Soft (46)|
|Bruno Senna Hispania Racing||Intermediate||DNF (4)|
|Pedro De La Rosa Sauber||Intermediate||Soft (8)|
|Kamui Kobayashi Sauber||Intermediate||DNF (1)|
|Timo Glock Virgin Racing||Intermediate||Soft (9)||DNF (41)|
|Lucas Di Grassi Virgin Racing||Intermediate||Soft (10)||DNF (26)|