Race Strategy: Australia, Presented by UBS F1

Key Strategic Moment

This race was dominated by the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, but the Key Strategy Moment came in the battle for the final podium position between Scuderia Ferrari and Williams Martini Racing, with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel taking it thanks to a clever strategy ploy.

Williams pitted Felipe Massa on Lap 21 fearing Ferrari might try to undercut him by pitting a lap earlier. Instead, Vettel stayed out another three laps on used soft compound tyres and had better pace than Massa on new medium tyres.

Vettel saved his tyres early on to mount an attack at the end of the first stint. Massa lost time behind Daniel Ricciardo on his first lap out of the pits. This was enough to give Vettel track position after he made his stop on lap 24.

Race Strategy Briefing

Strategy Insights

Reliability will be less of an issue in this second year of hybrid turbo engines, so this should be a hard fought race. Pirelli has nominated the same tyre compounds as last season, soft and medium. Testing showed that the medium front tyres can take a while to warm up, especially in cooler conditions, as we sometimes encounter in Melbourne. This should be a two stop race and with the soft a good margin faster than the medium, so strategy will be crucial. Last year the first stop was dictated by the safety car, which is a regular feature at Albert Park. It is important for teams and drivers to be reactive to a sudden safety car deployment as there are places to be made up by being decisive.