Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas commandingly won the Australian Grand Prix, with a one-stop strategy that was in line with our prediction: going from the soft tyre to the medium on lap 23. This same basic idea was used by the top four, however the timing of the pit stops varied, with Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) both stopping much earlier than their team mates in a strategic battle.
The first major player to make a pit stop was Vettel, trying an undercut. This prompted Mercedes to cover him by pitting Hamilton a lap later.
Bottas then stayed out longer, stretching his lead over his team mate.
The first driver to claim an extra point for fastest lap was Valtteri Bottas, who went fastest with the medium on the penultimate lap, also beating last year’s fastest lap.
Mario Isola: “All three compounds stood up well to the particular demands of Albert Park and they were all used extensively. We saw an interesting variation in strategy, with drivers using different tyres for different stint lengths, and – for those further down the grid – alternative strategies to make their way up the field. Our aim this year was to provide compounds that enabled drivers to push from start to finish of every stint. The fact that Bottas set the fastest race lap of Albert Park right at the end of the grand prix, in a close fight for the extra point with Verstappen, highlights how this objective has been achieved.”