After Controversy Australian GP is Solid Start for Pirelli

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Pirelli has admitted that it even surprised itself by the solid start it made to its return to Formula 1 in the Australian Grand Prix.

It might be too soon to sing Pirelli’s praises. After all, one race does not a season make.

But given that it’s not too soon to talk about Red Bull’s blistering pace, or McLaren’s impressive turnaround.

After a winter of scaremongering from some quarters that the high degradation of Pirelli's rubber would turn F1 races into a lottery this season, the new 2011 tyres received a unanimous thumbs-up in Melbourne as teams opted for varied strategies throughout the event.

And although Pirelli is well aware that the next race in Malaysia will likely be a much tougher challenge for its tyres, its motorsport director Paul Hembery says he is delighted the doom mongers have been silenced for now.

"After the winter testing, some people were suggesting four or five stops which I always thought was over-exaggerated and misguided," he said.

"I was expecting three stops to be the most common strategy in Australia, and maybe somebody who was doing really well could do two, but what I wasn't envisaging was a one-stop from [Sergio] Perez, which was quite extraordinary.

"It shows that we have brought something different to the sport. We have surprised everyone and surprised ourselves.

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F1 Statistics

23-25 November, 2012

Practice 1 : Result

Practice 2 : Result

Practice 3 : Result

Qualifying : Result

Race : Result

1 Sebastian Vettel 281
2 Fernando Alonso 278
3 Kimi Räikkönen 207
4 Lewis Hamilton 190
5 Jenson Button 188
6 Mark Webber 179
7 Felipe Massa 122
8 Romain Grosjean 96
9 Nico Rosberg 93
10 Sergio Perez 66
Full Table

1 Red Bull Racing - Renault 460
2 Ferrari 400
3 Mclaren - Mercedes 378
4 Lotus - Renault 303
5 Mercedes 142
6 Sauber - Ferrari 126
7 Force India - Mercedes 109
8 Williams - Renault 76
9 STR - Ferrari 26
10 Marussia-Cosworth 0
Full Table