Ferrari goes conservative in Melbourne tyre choice

While Mercedes, in particular, have gone aggressive for the opening race of the season, taking nine sets of the ultrasoft tyres, Ferrari and Renault are only taking seven.

Though McLaren and Williams are following the world champions example, Red Bull, Force India, Toro Rosso, Haas and Sauber are all taking eight sets of the purple-banded rubber.

In terms of the supersofts, Romain Grosjean and the Renault duo opt for four sets of the red-banded tyres, while at Mercedes, Williams and Sauber there is a difference of opinion as one driver opts for three sets and his teammate two.

Lewis Hamilton, like Sergey Sirotkin and Grosjean, takes just one set of the softs, while the Ferrari duo and Charles Leclerc take three.

Last year’s race, which saw Sebastian Vettel get his season off to the best possible start, saw the German on a one-stop strategy, starting on the ultrasofts and then switching to a new set of softs.

A similar strategy was used by the next three drivers, while fifth and sixth-placed Max Verstappen and Felipe Masa started on ultras before switching to supers.