With every pre-season there’s always that feeling of new hope and beginnings for every team involved in Formula One. The introductions of Pirelli tyres and adjustable rear wings, with the return of KERS added to the mix, were meant to change the sport. With one race down, how did it all deliver?
Well, if it was a school report, it would read “could do better”.
Let’s start with the Pirelli tyres. Given the mandate by the FIA to reproduce the excitement of the Canadian race of last year, the Italian company went against a tyre company’s usual strategy and have deliberately made an inferior product. Today, the extra stops (which idle what the FIA ultimately wanted) happened, varying from two stops for race winner Sebastian Vettel, three stops further down the field for Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber, and even a single stop for Sauber debutant Sergio Perez.
The verdict on the new Pirellis is that they work in adding more elements for the teams to worry about strategically. On tracks further along the calendar with more abrasive tarmac like Turkey, Canada and most probably India, we are in for some humdingers indeed.
The drivers aides are a another kettle of fish though. We in the Sett understand that F1 should be the pioneer of technology, some of which like KERS will eventually filter down to the cars we all drive – bar Badger editor Adam Milleneuve’s Vespa!
It just seems a waste of a team’s budget to develop technology to punch through dirty air caused by aerodynamics. Why power through the air when you could just reduce it, and costs, with simpler wings?
The opinion on KERS and DRS from Albert Park was twofold: firstly, DRS was in place on a track where it’s effect would be minimal, especially heading into Turn 1. In Malaysia it will be different, and dare I say it, Bahrain may have been a better advert for the system.
Secondly, KERS still only seems to be like a way for leaders to pass backmarkers while in theory it should be a defence from DRS and cars on fresher tyres.
The Australia race was a good starter to the feast that should be 2011 and once teams and race control understand all that’s new it should be very tasty indeed.